Dow falls 400 points as Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies plummet

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The stock market opened with losses Wednesday as Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies plummeted in value.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a loss of more than 400 points Wednesday, falling 1.3 percent. The Nasdaq composite opened with a loss of 1.5 percent and S&P 500 fell 1.4 percent after the opening bell.

The market’s opening dive was driven largely by the continuing sell-off of technology stocks, which had skyrocketed in value since the middle of 2020 before hitting turbulence this year. 


Tesla, Zoom, eBay and Nvidia all fell at least 2 percent Wednesday morning, though larger non-tech names such as Nike, Chevron, Boeing, Goldman Sachs and Caterpillar also fell sharply.

“It’s a sea of red this morning following Tuesday’s lackluster session, despite a fresh set of solid results from the retail sector,” wrote JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, in a Wednesday analysis.

Kinahan cited China’s decision to ban cryptocurrency transactions and lingering inflation fears as the primary drivers behind Wednesday’s rough open.

“There’s a lot of people looking for fresh catalysts, and without them, the market is treading water and slowly losing ground,” Kinahan wrote. “If the bleeding gets worse today, however, remember that selling out of fear is hardly ever a good idea.”

While stocks took broad but manageable losses Wednesday, the cryptocurrency market continued to crash, raising questions about whether many popular coins have peaked in value.

Bitcoin was down more than 20 percent, falling to roughly $35,000 per coin after hitting a record high of $63,588 on April 13. The cryptocurrency has lost nearly all of its gains since the start of 2021. Ethereum plunged more than 30 percent to a price of roughly $2,200 and the popular parody Dogecoin was down nearly 40 percent. 


The surge of selling also forced outages at Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, and caused the company’s stock to fall more than 8 percent. Coinbase went public at $328 barely a month ago and peaked at $342 per share before falling to a new low of $219 on Wednesdsay.

Binance, another crypto trading platform, also halted leveraged options trading amid the volatility. 

Updated at 10:31 a.m.