Stocks edge higher, oil rises, gas prices fall, Warren Buffett’s big deal

Cryptocurrency trading higher; Goldman Sachs makes OTC crypto trade — first of its kind

Cryptocurrency prices were edging higher early Tuesday morning with Ethereum topping the $3,000 mark for the first time in two weeks.

Bitcoin was trading at approximately $42,585 (+3.31%), while the aforementioned Ethereum and Dogecoin were at nearly $3,025 (+4.64%) and 12.39 cents (+2.91%), respectively, according to Coindesk.

With the exception of a brief spike above $3,000 early this month and today’s move into positive territory, ether has mostly meandered in the $2,400-$2,800 range during March. Ethereum has shown a 5.8% increase in the last 24 hours, the Coindesk report said.

US stocks whipsawed overnight after Fed Chair Powell’s remarks

U.S. stocks were whipsawing between negative and positive territory overnight after investors sold stocks and government bonds after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank’s commitment to controlling inflation through a rapid series of interest-rate increases.

The S&P 500 edged lower 1.94 points, or less than 0.1%, to close Monday at 4461.18 following comments from Powell about the possibility of more-aggressive interest-rate moves to tame inflation.

Treasury yields rose following his comments, reaching their highest level since May 2019.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index lost 55.38 points, or 0.4%, to 13838.46, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 201.94 points, or 0.6%, to 34552.99.

Shares ended modestly lower Monday on Wall Street after bouncing around for much of the day.

Gas prices lower; states pausing gas taxes

U.S. gas prices dropped by a penny overnight with the average cost of a gallon of gasoline now standing at $4.242 as lawmakers around the country attempt to ease the pain at the pump.

The previous high was set on March 11 when a gallon of gasoline in the United States sold for an average of $4.33.

Lawmakers across the U.S. are pushing to pause the collection of gasoline taxes to give drivers a temporary break at the pump as fuel costs hover near record highs.

Maryland and Georgia are temporarily cutting state gasoline taxes as fuel prices have surged world-wide amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sent shock waves throughout the oil market. California is considering giving drivers a $400 rebate to help cushion the blow of high gasoline prices.

Oil prices higher in early Asian trading as EU-wide ban of Russian oil considered

Oil prices were higher in early Asian trade, on reports that support for a European Union-wide ban on the purchase of Russian oil is growing inside the bloc.

Houthi rebels have launched multiple attacks at some Saudi Aramco sites was also driving oil prices higher, Oanda says.

“The oil rollercoaster ride remains a geopolitical trade and right now it seems the risks are growing and that could push crude prices higher,” Oanda said. April WTI crude oil futures and Brent are each 1.8% higher at $114.16/bbl and $117.65/bbl, respectively. 

Both contracts had settled up more than 7% on Monday as the potential for more supply disruptions weighed on the market.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to buy Alleghany for $11.6B

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is buying insurance company Alleghany Corporation for $11.6 billion, or $848.02 per share in case, the company announced on Monday.

“Berkshire will be the perfect permanent home for Alleghany, a company that I have closely observed for 60 years,” Buffett, Berkshire’s CEO, said in a statement.

The deal, approved by both companies’ boards of directors, “represents a multiple of 1.26 times Alleghany’s book value at December 31, 2021, a 29% premium to Alleghany’s average stock price over the last 30 days and a 16% premium to Alleghany’s 52-week high closing price.”

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