Bad news became good news on Friday for risk assets from stocks to bitcoin.
The U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs in April, missing estimates of a 1 million gain. The weak jobs report reinforced expectations of continued easy money policy at the Federal Reserve, which sent bitcoin (BTC) higher by about 2% over the past 24 hours. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also ended the day in the green while safe havens such as Treasury bonds sold off.
The April jobs miss suggests a fragile economic recovery, which means easy money from the Fed could continue to fuel the rally across risk assets. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has stated that rising inflation is transitory and whether the U.S. central bank’s tightening policy will depend on a variety of factors including labor market conditions.
“The reaction from bitcoin is undeniable,” said Mati Greenspan, founder of Quantum Economics, in his daily newsletter. “Even gold and silver hit fresh highs.”
Speculation is prompting funds to flow beyond bitcoin as altcoins take the lead.
“During the last round of stimulus, there was a lot of talk about people putting the funds directly into bitcoin. This time, it’s dogecoin,” according to Greenspan.
Bitcoin bounced above $57,000 around the time of the release of the U.S. jobs report. The cryptocurrency was trading around $58,000 at the time of writing and is holding support on intraday and daily time frames.
Technical charts imply that bitcoin will likely trade higher over the weekend and through next week, although further momentum is needed to push prices past $60,000.
For now, as bitcoin consolidates, traders are turning their attention to altcoins.
It’s definitely altcoin season, evidenced by the bitcoin dominance ratio declining below the 50% threshold. The ratio measures the total market cap of BTC versus the market cap of the entire cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin dominance is currently at the lowest level since July 2018.
“Historically, bitcoin reaches its all-time-high and then drops, which starts an alt season,” wrote Adam Morris, co-founder of Crypto Head, a cryptocurrency education website, in an email.
“It’s coins like this that are first to drop 95% in a market crash, which has already happened in the 2018 crash,” wrote Morris referring to the popularity around dogecoin, which is now the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
“On the other hand, it’s likely that ethereum will keep rising and if history repeats itself we’ll probably see it all-time-high towards the end of the year,” Morris wrote.
Ether futures volume approached $1 billion on Tuesday as the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap broke above $3,500. ETH is up about 28% over the past seven days compared to BTC’s gain of 1.5%. Higher volumes in the futures market suggests growing interest from sophisticated traders who wish to hedge or speculate on price movements.
In the options market, traders anticipate higher ETH volatility relative to BTC, evidenced by the one-month ETH-BTC implied volatility spread.
Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are mostly higher Thursday. Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):