Buzz phrases of the day — tech, AI, crypto

The iPhone 15 Pro on the left, the iPhone 15 Pro Max on the right.

Kif Leswing/CNBC

This report is from today’s CNBC Daily Open, our new, international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

What you need to know today

Losing steam?
Wall Street showed signs of losing steam Tuesday after a blistering rally last month, as two of its three main indexes ended lower for a second straight day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.22%, while the S&P 500 inched down 0.06%. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.31% as technology shares advanced. Asia-Pacific markets rebounded Wednesday, led by Japan’s Nikkei 225 which soared 2.04%.

The most valuable Apple   
Apple’s market capitalization crossed $3 trillion for the first time since August. The iPhone maker climbed 2% to $193.42 per share on Tuesday and remains the most valuable publicly traded U.S. company. It officially surpassed the $3 trillion mark for the first time in June, and briefly touched the level on an intraday basis in December 2022. The company’s stock price has risen over 48% so far this year.  

X.AI fundraise
Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence startup X.AI has filed with the SEC to raise up to $1 billion in an equity offering. It has so far raised nearly $135 million from four investors, with the first sale occurring on Nov. 29.

Goldilocks’ porridge
Job openings, a barometer of employer demand for workers, fell by 617,000 to 8.7 million in October, the lowest since March 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Tuesday in a survey. Economists said the U.S. economy was now inching closer to a so-called “soft landing” after recent batches of better-than-expected data.

Bitcoin bull run
Bitcoin topped $44,000 for the first time since April 2022 on Tuesday. The price of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency was last up more than 4% at $43,794.99, according to Coin Metrics, extending gains from the previous day. The digital coin is now up more than 160% for the year. 

[PRO] Eli Lilly vs. Novo Nordisk
It has been quite a year for both Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk given the boom in weight-loss drugs. Stocks of both pharmaceutical companies have rallied this year. Shares in Eli Lilly are up around 60% year-to-date, while its Danish counterpart Novo Nordisk has gained about 50%. Here’s the full story.

The bottom line

So far December is not shaping up to be as slow as usual. Apple remains right on top of the food chain and Elon Musk is now raising fresh capital for his artificial intelligence startup.

As we approach the end of the year, it is yet another reminder that you can count on Big Tech to pull its weight in times when there really isn’t much else to pave the way.  

Wall Street’s raging rally last month may start to show signs of cooling, but investors have no real reason to stop being optimistic while all the big buzz words of the year continue to be flashed in headlines — tech, AI, crypto.

Apple is resilient even as it grapples with slowing growth and problems in markets like China. On the other hand, new entrant X.AI will compete with the likes of ChatGPT creator OpenAI. It also has alumni of DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Twitter and Tesla all working to build it.

News highs in bitcoin have become increasingly frequent over the past several weeks. Bernstein predicted about a month ago that the price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency could hit $150,000 by 2025 as excitement grows about a bitcoin exchange-traded fund. 

And from an economic standpoint, things aren’t looking as dreadful as they did earlier this year, as investors and economists debate whether we’ve finally reached the much discussed “soft landing.”

Brookings Institution economists describe a soft landing as “‘Goldilocks’ porridge’ for central bankers.” In this scenario, the economy is “just right — neither too hot (inflationary) nor too cold (in a recession),” they said.

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