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Bitcoin Whales Have Started Splashing – This Rallys Just Getting Started

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On Squawk Box, Fundstrat Global Advisors head of research Thomas Lee said that despite the 16-month correction, bitcoin is en route to a steady accumulation phase throughout 2019.

In the past 24 hours, the bitcoin price experienced a roughly 2.7 percent recovery following a slight pullback, climbing to $5,055 and leading a nearly $8 billion crypto market recovery.

Following a slight correction, the bitcoin price has recovered (source:

The slight retrace came after an impressive 19 percent rally of bitcoin from $4,200 to $5,000, a price movement analysts like Lee believe was crucial in rekindling the momentum of the market.

Whales Accumulating Bitcoin is a Positive Sign

According to Lee, whales that bought bitcoin very early on who sold some of their holdings when the asset hit a price of $20,000 have started to accumulate the dominant cryptocurrency.

The researcher suggested that many investors in the cryptocurrency market likely kept cash on the sidelines waiting for a viable opportunity to invest in the asset class once again, demonstrating the confidence of investors in the long-term trend of the market.

Lee said:

“Bitcoin had a rough 2018 and for much of 2019, it’s been steadily climbing, and from what we can gather, it’s because there have been positive things taking place. You know a lot of the old whale wallets are buying bitcoin so it’s been slow accumulation.”

Throughout the past four months, bitcoin has arguably seen more progress in institutionalization than in the past 9 years from 2009 to 2018.

Financial institutions in the likes of Fidelity, ICE, and Nasdaq have actively been strengthening the infrastructure supporting cryptocurrencies while major conglomerates in Asia such as SBI Holdings, Samsung, and Kakao have also started to get involved in the cryptocurrency sector in meaningful ways.

With the strong rally of bitcoin on April 1 and the change in the sentiment of the cryptocurrency community, Lee said that the past five days have shown the presence of dry powder in the market.

Lee added:

“[Whales are] some of the original owners of bitcoin. Some of them who liquidated at $20,000 are starting to buy back. And then we saw positive developments like Bakkt is coming, a lot of infrastructure like Fidelity custody, activity has been picking up especially in regions with inflation and political issues like Venezuela and Turkey. I think finally we had a big move on April 1. It was real evidence that there was a lot of dry powder.”

Altcoins Diverge from Bitcoin Price

Throughout the past two months, cryptocurrencies have begun to show independent price movements for the first time in many months.

Historically, the price of alternative cryptocurrencies has more or less followed the price trend of bitcoin with intensified movements. For instance, if bitcoin went up, alternative cryptocurrencies surged, and if bitcoin dropped, alternative cryptocurrencies plunged.

However, in recent weeks, crypto assets have shown price movements independent of bitcoin, with tokens such as Theta, OmiseGO, and Decred recording gains in the range of 8 to 20 percent on the day.

As suggested by ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees, the cryptocurrency market is demonstrating signs of maturation, and independent price activity is another indicator that the cryptocurrency sector is growing at a rapid rate.

Dow Rally Loses Steam as Investors Cringe at Vicious Earnings Season

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The Dow lagged the broader U.S. stock market on Friday, as shares of the previously ascendant Dow Inc. (D) gave up weekly gains ahead of what’s expected to be a grim earnings season for Wall Street.

Dow Lags While S&P 500 & Nasdaq Rally

All of Wall Street’s major indexes were seen approaching record highs in the final session of the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 100 points through the early morning, reflecting a strong pre-market for U.S. stock futures. The blue-chip index was last up 35 points, or 0.1%, at 26,420.18.

dow jones industrial average, djiadow jones industrial average, djia

Dow Jones Industrial Average loses steam in the latter stages of Friday’s session. | Chart via Yahoo Finance.

After six consecutive gains, Dow Inc. plunged almost 5%. The chemical company surged after spinning off from DowDuPont earlier in the week.

The broad S&P 500 Index climbed 0.4% to 2,889.67, where it was on track for its seventh consecutive daily advance and its longest winning streak in over a year. Nine of 11 primary sectors catapulted to gains, led by surging energy stocks.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index closed on a gain of 0.5% to 7,930.57.

Worried about overvaluation risks? Read this exclusive report from The VIX Tells Us Stocks are Heading for Record Highs; Why Investors Should Be Worried.

Earnings in Focus

Wells Fargo, dow, djiaWells Fargo, dow, djia

Wells Fargo will report earnings next week as a potentially-brutal earnings season threatens to derail the Dow recovery. | Source: Shutterstock

Corporate earnings season begins in earnest next week, with the likes of Rite Aid Corp (RAD), JPMorgan Chase and Co (JPM), and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) all scheduled to report. For the first time since 2016, quarterly earnings are expected to decline from a year earlier, signaling renewed risks for American companies.

Signs of earnings-related headwinds were first spotted by FactSet early this year after the research firm reported a decline in so-called bottom-up EPS estimates. This was reiterated in the most recent report:

“The Q1 bottom-up EPS estimate (which is an aggregation of the median EPS estimates of all the companies in the index) dropped by 7.2% (to $37.33 from $40.21) during [the first quarter].”

Corporate earnings are declining at a time when global growth is stagnating. The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have all lowered their forecasts for global growth this year, citing China-related volatility and weakness in advanced industrialized nations like Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan. By comparison, the United States is holding up fairly well, although growth has weakened significantly in the last two quarters.

Joe Biden: Groping Claims Bury Ex-VP – Obama Silence Speaks Volumes

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Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is being barraged with an avalanche of groping allegations from multiple women. But the curious silence from his longtime pal, ex-President Barack Obama, is deafening.

Is this a sign that their alliance of convenience and faux bromance is finally over?

Source: Biden and Obama ‘Remain Good Friends’

A source told the Hill that Obama remains close friends with Biden, and thinks he would make a fantastic president. However, he’s reluctant to comment on the Democratic presidential primary right now.

“President Obama thinks the world of him and thinks he’d be an excellent president. They remain in touch and good friends.”

“President Obama is not going to be weighing in on the primary and the day-to-day stories around it. And Joe Biden would be the first to tell you that he’ll have to earn the nomination on his own.”

Oh really? If the situation were reversed, there’s no doubt that Biden would immediately leap to Obama’s defense.

There’s no cost to Obama for supporting Biden since he’s not running for any political office. So again: Obama’s silence is speaking volumes.

Obama Is Probably Being Pressured to Endorse a Minority Female

As it is, Biden hasn’t announced his candidacy yet. That makes Obama’s reticence even more shocking. If you’re friends with someone, you should have his back and defend him.

As a beloved icon of the Democratic Party, a single statement from Obama would quell the mounting criticism against Biden from other Democrats.

One reason why Obama hasn’t defended Joe is probably that he’s being pressured to support a female minority candidate, namely California Senator Kamala Harris.

This is in line with the current leftist orthodoxy of fetishizing minorities as victims and deriding white males as villains.

Narrative Fail: Dem Frontrunners Are White Men

The Democratic Party claims that it’s the “party of women and minorities” — only to have three white men emerge as their presidential front-runners.

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, if the election were held today, Joe Biden would get the most votes, followed by Bernie Sanders, and Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.

A candidate who gets Barack Obama’s endorsement will likely be the Democrat Party’s nominee. How that translates at the voting booth is unclear, since Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton in 2016 failed to win her the White House.

quinnipiac poll democratic presidential nominees joe bidenquinnipiac poll democratic presidential nominees joe biden

The top three Democratic contenders are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O’Rourke. (Quinnipiac poll)

Biden Did Not Apologize for Inappropriate Touching

Since last week, at least eight women have accused Biden of unwanted groping, kissing, hugging, and sexual contact.

Biden responded by posting a video where he suggested that his non-consensual groping was acceptable before because such behavior was normal back in the day. (No, it wasn’t.)

However, Biden has not apologized. He merely said he would try to be more sensitive before pawing at people. President Donald Trump responded by trolling Biden on Twitter.

Joe Biden Jokes about Groping Scandal

In his first public appearance since the groping scandal erupted, Joe joked about the controversy that’s engulfing him now.

At an April 5 speech in Washington, Biden joked that he had received consent before putting his arm around a little boy on stage.

“By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” Biden laughed. That stunt did not go over well on social media.

Backlash Builds After CNBC’s Becky Quick Ridicules ‘Lottery Ticket’ Bitcoin

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Nobody has been harder on bitcoin than the mainstream financial media, particularly during the crypto winter. Now that the market is showing signs of strength, bitcoin is back on their radar, but some continue to miss the point. Among them, CNBC’s Becky Quick probably got bitcoin the most wrong.

CNBC’s Becky Quick Ridicules Bitcoin

Becky Quick’s disdain of bitcoin began to seep through in a television interview with Fundstrat’s Tom Lee on Squawk Box. At first, the CNBC anchor’s concerns were reasonable enough surrounding how Lee came about a fair value price for bitcoin. Tensions quickly escalated, however, at least for the audience, when Quick called his recommendation for investors to make a 1%-2% allocation to bitcoin “crazy.”

She continued her tirade on Twitter after follower Eric Weiss, the founder of hedge fund Blockchain Investment Group, called her out on the “crazy” remark, in response to which Quick quipped,

“Are we talking bitcoin? Or lottery tickets?

Not a Get-Rich Scheme

To be fair, Quick has been entrenched in the mainstream financial media for pretty much her entire career. Prior to joining CNBC, she worked for The Wall Street Journal. While not an excuse considering the blockchain space is comprised of plenty of Wall Street veterans, it does explain some of it.

What’s disappointing is that she came across not only cynical but also shortsighted, possibly even insincere. That is unless she really doesn’t get that unlike the lottery, crypto is much more than a get-rich scheme. Bitcoin was born out of the trenches of the Financial Crisis when people’s faith in the economy was shattered, not to mention the size of their retirement accounts. Shame on her for dismissing a movement whose origins harken back to the very sub-prime banking failures that Quick and the business network had a front seat in.

thumbs down gif bitcointhumbs down gif bitcoin

Mainstream financial media gets a thumbs down for disingenuous bitcoin coverage. | Source:

Weiss got it, replying to Quick:

“Pithy reply but, disingenuous. You think BTC and the digital asset class has a 1 in 300million shot at being valued in the trillions? How many university endowment funds are buying lottery tickets? How many I-banks have lottery trading desks and lottery ticket custody?”

Yes, bitcoin has a price attached to it, the value of which reflects what people are willing to pay for it. How is fiat money, which is also not backed by anything other than the government’s word, any different?

Besides, if Quick’s concern is investors allocating their retirement funds toward a risky asset such as bitcoin, shouldn’t she be equally outraged that they might invest in a high-yield junk bond or complex forex instrument? Stocks were an emerging asset class once, too.

Further still, the New York Stock Exchange-backed ICE is launching bitcoin futures exchange, Bakkt. If bitcoin is good enough for the NYSE, whose modest beginning was in 1792 under a Buttonwood tree, why isn’t it good enough for investors?

Fox Business Shows How to Critique Bitcoin

Not all financial journalists are afraid of bitcoin. Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, who incidentally is a CNBC alum, welcomed Gemini Co-Founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss onto the set at year-end 2017.

She covered the launch of bitcoin futures, pointing out that at the time the BTC price spiked more than $1,000 in response. It’s not that Bartiromo didn’t push back – she did, questioning them about a market that is the “height of speculation.” But she gave them a chance to explain the heavily regulated nature of Gemini exchange.

And for those who are convinced that bitcoin is a fraud, her response? Then short it. Maybe CNBC’s Quick should take a page out of her rival’s book and educate her audience about bitcoin rather than scaring them.

Crypto Hero? Retiring CFTC Chief Bites Back at Anti-Bitcoin Bullies

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The CFTC chief delivered more than an earful about the way some outsiders really feel about bitcoin. J. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), is nearing retirement when his term ends later this month. Known as Crypto Dad to the SEC’s Crypto Mom Hester Peirce, Giancarlo might deserve the title as Crypto Hero, instead, considering the heat he has had to endure for refusing to stifle blockchain innovation.

Crypto Dad Defends CFTC’s Blockchain Stance Against Bitcoin Skeptics

cryptodad j. christopher giancarlo cftc bitcoincryptodad j. christopher giancarlo cftc bitcoin

CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has more than earned his affectionate “Crypto Dad” nickname. | Source: YouTube

In a speech at the Eurofi Financial Forum in Bucharest, Romania, Giancarlo was generous with his opinions, citing Romanian poet Ion Luca Cariagiale who once said:

Opinions are free, but not mandatory.”

Giancarlo might think he used the platform to “put forth a few free opinions,” but he also dropped a bomb with details of his experience as a regulator in the crypto space. While he didn’t squeal on anyone, the CFTC chief said enough. Crypto Dad made it clear that while the CFTC’s approach has been to nurture “the development of new derivatives products on crypto-assets like bitcoin,” not everyone he comes across feels the same.

We have resisted calls to use our legal powers to suppress the development of crypto-assets and the underlying technologies that support them. Instead, we have favored close monitoring of market developments while not hindering the introduction of new products like bitcoin futures, which have proven invaluable in letting market forces determine the appropriate value of the bitcoin.” 

This resistance Crypto Dad refers to has been a hurdle not only to innovation but also to the adoption of blockchain technology by businesses across jurisdictions.

CFTC’s Crypto Openness Bittersweet for Bitcoin Speculators

Giancarlo referenced an economic letter by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In the letter, economists argued that the advent of bitcoin futures had created more of a balance in speculative demand among optimists and pessimists, the latter of whom were handed a way to bet on the decline in the bitcoin price.

Regardless how bitcoin bulls feel about BTC futures, if it weren’t for Giancarlo’s open mind, this institutional product would never have seen the light of day. While the commodities regulator wasn’t responsible for approving the product, they did give the green light to the Chicago derivatives exchanges to launch their respective contracts. That has paved the way for exchanges such as Bakkt, which is poised to “pay out” its bitcoin futures contracts in crypto and is viewed as a catalyst for the crypto market in 2019.

Now that Giancarlo is nearing the end of his term, the crypto community will not be without an advocate in regulatory circles. U.S. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has embraced her role as Crypto Mom and seems prepared to carry the torch for both of them.

Nonetheless, Giancarlo’s light-touch regulatory approach to regulation will be missed. He crafted the Project KISS initiative with the overarching goal to simplify CFTC rules and regulations. What the crypto community will miss most, however, is most likely his candor, including a second Ion Luca Cariagiale quote, which should resonate with blockchain folks:

“Do you want to get to know things?  Look at them closely. Do you want to like them? Look at them from afar.”

Trump Declares War on OPEC, Saudis Laugh as Oil Price Surges

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Donald Trump is ramping up his attack on oil prices as US crude hit a 5-month high today. While up to now the US president has been focused on denouncing high energy costs via Twitter, it appears he now is looking to do more than merely bash OPEC online. As CNBC reported, the US wants to ensure “dominance” in this sector through a blockbuster executive order designed to boost pipeline infrastructure. In reality, Trump walks a dangerous tightrope when it comes to crude.

Cheap Energy is Great for Farmers, Great for Trump

The main obstacle that Donald Trump faces in maximizing his popularity through energy policy is that two sides of his base want different things. First, there are the Rust Belt farmers and factory workers who love seeing the cost of living reduced. Farmers, in particular, use a lot of fuel, and any reduction in energy costs is a great benefit to their business. In this regard, Trump can help offset some of the damage his trade war has done to certain crop prices.

The other side of this coin is that other red states like Texas and Oklahoma love high energy prices. Historically, Democrats have been raked across the coals in these areas for trying to depress the value of crude. Trump is banking on tribalism to keep these states on board, and if polls are any indicator, they very much still are.

US Ingenuity – Not Obama or Trump – Has Already Created Energy ‘Dominance’

Moreover, it is rather strange to see Trump bashing OPEC about high oil prices and wanting to restore US “dominance” when it is already the largest oil producer in the World. Obama doesn’t deserve credit for this as he previously claimed, but neither does Trump. Good old technical ingenuity helped the US access exploit unusable deposits.

us crude oil productionus crude oil production

US crude oil production has been trending upward for years. | Source:

However, there is another reason that Trump wants to subdue oil prices, and it is the same reason that he attacks the Federal Reserve over cheap money. Everything that Trump does is to try and stimulate the economy. He needs it in overdrive to make his GDP claims come to fruition. If energy prices are too high consumers, get defensive. It also erodes wage gains as inflation eats into paychecks.

Janet Yellen once called cheap energy “a tax cut” for the American people, and that is probably true. OPEC is far less diversified in general than the United States, so overall cheap oil is a significant negative as opposed to the US where it is a net benefit for the service based economy.

Could Trump’s War on Oil Prices Sink His Popularity in Texas?

If the US president succeeds in crushing energy prices, there could be an interesting twist in 2020. Texas has been shifting blue for a while, and Beto O’Rourke nearly upended Ted Cruz in the most recent election.

If oil workers are sufficiently irritated, then conceivably they might rebel in 2020. The flip-side of this is that Trump could increase his manufacturing base in the “blue wall” of Michigan and Wisconsin as the economy keeps humming.

It’s the usual all-in strategy from Mr. Trump. The last Democrat to take the 38 electoral votes in Texas was Jimmy Carter in 1976.