Here’s What’s Happening in Markets: April 18

Markets turn higher, aiming to break a 4-day losing streak, ahead of major tech companies earnings reports.

Kristin
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SVP Content / Editor in Chief
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: etf.com Staff

Markets moved decidedly higher after fluctuating midmorning Thursday, potentially snapping a 4-day losing streak, the S&P 500's longest slide since January, according to FactSet. 

SPY, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, added 0.5% while DIA, the SPDR Dow Jones Indus0.5%trial Average ETF Trust gained 0.8%. QQQ, the tech-heavy Invesco QQQ Trust which mirrors the Nasdaq, rose 0.3% as investors looked ahead to tech earnings.

Investors are looking to the tech sector today for optimism. Netflix is the first of the megacap (companies with a market capitalization of roughly $200 billion or more) technology companies set to report first quarter corporate earnings after the bell. Tech companies have led the markets this year despite a higher-for-longer rate environment that typically keeps them under pressure. 

XLK, the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (which despite not holding Netflix remains a tech sector barometer), fluctuated between higher and lower ahead of Netflix's earnings. The fund is up 5% for the year, and a whopping 37% since last year. XLG, the Invesco S&P 500 Top 50 ETF which holds Netflix in its fund, jumped nearly half a percentage point on Thursday morning. 

XLK 1-Year Chart

Source: etf.com

SQQQ, the ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ—which bets that tech stock prices will drop—was in the red ahead of tech earnings, sinking about a half-percentage point.

Ahead of the bitcoin halving this week, bitcoin prices were on the rise, jumping to nearly $63,800 according to data from CoinMarketCap. Cryptocurrency ETFS were the top gainers Thursday, according to etf.com data. BTFX, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Futures Leveraged Strategy ETF had the biggest rise, jumping more than 9%. BITX, BITU, CONL, and CRPT all advanced 7%-10%. 

Bitcoin halvings have historically preceded rallies in bitcoin's price. But it's unclear if history will repeat itself this year since the inception of spot bitcoin ETFs which have already caused jumps in bitcoin.

Kristin Myers is an award-winning journalist, who covers business and finance news. She is the current Senior Vice President of Content and Editor in Chief of etf.com. Kristin was most recently the Editor-in-Chief of the economics website The Balance, and an on-air anchor and reporter at Yahoo Finance. 

She hosted Yahoo Finance Live daily, providing afternoon coverage and reporting on markets, and the economy in the hours before the final bell. She was also one of the creators and hosts of “A Time for Change,” a weekly program that explores race, diversity, and inclusion in the world of business, finance, and politics. 

Earlier in her career, Kristin helped launch Al Jazeera America, where she produced high-profile guest segments and was part of field teams for special coverage, including the protests in Ferguson, and the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

She has also worked with other news organizations including Bloomberg News, MSNBC, and others, in the U.S. and abroad.