Bitcoin has almost halved from its peak and Nasdaq is posting its worst week since the pandemic began

Nasdaq has endured its worst week since the pandemic began, wiping billions from tech billionaires’ fortunes, and bitcoin is down nearly half from its peak.

The sell-off comes as investors look to de-risk ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting next week amid fears of how aggressively the central bank will move to hike interest rates.

But for some it was the early sign of doom in the markets. British investor Jeremy Grantham, a notorious lifelong bear who has been persistent in declaring corrections imminent, claimed this week the US is mired in a wealth “super-bubble” that will soon collapse spectacularly.

With investors anticipating the Fed to start raising rates as early as its March policy meeting, expensive tech and other high-growth stocks are looking relatively less attractive.

Telsa CEO Elon Musk saw his net worth fall by $25.1 billion, or more than 9 percent, this week as a sell-off in the tech sector sent the Nasdaq into its worst week since the pandemic began

Telsa CEO Elon Musk saw his net worth fall by $25.1 billion, or more than 9 percent, this week as a sell-off in the tech sector sent the Nasdaq into its worst week since the pandemic began

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 14.3 percent from its Nov. 19 record high and has fallen for four straight weeks and is now more than 10 percent below its recent high, putting it in a market correction that Wall Street is eyeing.

And the benchmark S&P 500 has now slipped for three straight weeks at the start of the year.

It fell 5.7 percent this week, the worst weekly drop since March 2020, when the pandemic sent stocks into a bear market.

“As always, once volatility begins, investors flock to compound downside volatility,” said Nancy Tengler, CEO of Laffer Tengler Investments.

The tech sell-off has hit the country’s top tech billionaires hard, with Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg collectively losing $67 billion over the past week.

Telsa CEO Musk took the biggest hit when his net worth plunged $25.1 billion, or more than 9 percent, this week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

A television broadcasts stock market news outside the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York on Friday.  With its worst start to the year in more than a decade and a $2.2 trillion loss in market value, the Nasdaq Composite Index couldn't have had a more chaotic start to 2022

A television broadcasts stock market news outside the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York on Friday. With its worst start to the year in more than a decade and a $2.2 trillion loss in market value, the Nasdaq Composite Index couldn’t have had a more chaotic start to 2022

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 14.3 percent from Nov. 19's record high

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 14.3 percent from Nov. 19’s record high

Amazon founder Bezos lost $19.9 billion this week and his fortune has shrunk by more than $24 billion year-to-date.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin fell again on Saturday and was last down around 4 percent for the day, hovering around the $35,000 mark.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, is now about halfway down its November peak of $69,000.

It last stood at $35,049 after falling as low as $34,000 and having a steep decline on Friday.

The currency has seen wild price swings and was hit as risk appetite fell on inflation fears and expectations of a more aggressive pace of rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve.

Other risky assets fell as stocks fell on Friday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted their largest weekly percentage declines since the pandemic began in March 2020.

In a research note on Friday, Edward Moya, senior market analyst for the Americas at OANDA, said bitcoin would fall as “crypto traders de-risk portfolios after the stock bloodbath” and ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

“Bitcoin remains in danger and if $37,000 breaks there is not much support until $30,000,” Moya wrote on Friday.

Bitcoin, the world's largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, is now about halfway down its November peak of $69,000

Bitcoin, the world’s largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, is now about halfway down its November peak of $69,000

Ether, the coin linked to the Ethereum blockchain network, fell 6.7 percent to $2,396 on Saturday.

While seemingly unrelated to stocks, cryptocurrency markets have increasingly begun to correlate with the stock market as more institutional investors enter the space.

Inflation fears and concerns about the impact of higher interest rates have caused a shift in the broader stock market in 2021 after a solid year of gains.

Technology stocks and consumer-focused companies have fallen out of favor.

Energy is the only sector in the S&P 500 to post a gain; Appliance makers and utilities, which are typically considered less risky assets, fared better than the rest of the market.

Supply chain problems and higher raw material costs have prompted companies in a variety of industries to increase the prices of finished goods.

Many of these companies have warned investors that their profit margins and operations will remain under pressure in 2022.

The S&P fell 5.7 percent this week, its worst weekly decline since March 2020, when the pandemic sent stocks into a bear market

The S&P fell 5.7 percent this week, its worst weekly decline since March 2020, when the pandemic sent stocks into a bear market

Grantham claims US markets are in a

Grantham claims US markets are in a “super-bubble” that could burst soon. He warned that US markets could lose $35 trillion once the Fed hikes interest rates

Grantham, the British investor whom some have dubbed the “permanent bear,” claims markets have been artificially supported by government stimulus and are about to collapse.

Grantham published a paper claiming that the market could lose a combined $35 trillion should stocks, bonds, real estate and commodities return to historical norms in 2022.

UK bear Jeremy Grantham sees a huge market slump

UK bear Jeremy Grantham sees a huge market slump

He said that while markets suffered early in the COVID pandemic, Federal Reserve policies boosted them with lower interest rates, making markets unflinching in the face of any outside force, as he dubbed it the “vampire bull market.”

The bull market is used to describe when prices rise for a set period of time.

“You stab it with COVID, you shoot it with the end of QE [quantitative easing] and the promise of higher interest rates, and you poison it with unexpected inflation… and still the creature flies,” Grantham wrote.

That is, “until, just when you’re starting to think the thing is entirely immortal, it eventually, and perhaps a little disappointingly, tips over and dies.”

Grantham accused the Federal Reserve and other fiscal authorities of creating the “super-bubble” during the pandemic by lowering interest rates, affecting mortgage rates and creating a “reasonably inflated view of our true wealth.”

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