Shock earnings reports contributed to fresh market weakness, depriving Bitcoin and altcoins of any new gains.
Bitcoin (BTC) headed toward an "interesting" liquidity area on May 18 as United States stock markets opened with a bearish bang.BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView
U.S. markets saw a swift reversal of prior gains on the day, with the S&P 500 down 2% and the Nasdaq 100 down 2.3% within the first hour of trading.
The big surprise, however, came from grocery giants Walmart and Target, both of which saw the biggest intraday declines since the weeks prior to the 1987 "Black Monday" market crash.
At the time of writing, WMT was down over 15% in five trading days, while TGT was nearing 25%. Both came after reports of deteriorating earnings amid a squeeze on consumer spending from inflation.
"Bear market rallies can last weeks or just a few days. The combo Walmart/Target bombs indicate the U.S. consumer might not be as healthy as thought. The 3-day rally could be over," Fred Hickey, editor of The High-Tech Strategist, told Twitter followers on the day.
As standard, BTC declined with the indices to threaten a break below $29,000 toward an area of liquidity that represented the daily closes from last week's drop, which had seen spikes below $24,000.
"Looks like a clean breakdown to me. Price action has been choppy but we should at least sweep the lows," popular trader and analyst Nebraskan Gooner tweeted in his latest update.
"Lows break and we probably see $22K. Lows hold and we can break back above $30K."
Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe agreed, descrbing the area at around $28,400 as "interesting."
Fellow longstanding social media trading presence Josh Rager hoped for a bounce at the key level to take Bitcoin higher once more.
"Many times these compressions break one way for a fakeout and then reverse," he tweeted regarding declining volatility now potentially resulting in a price move.
"Would love to see $BTC break down, get shorts off sides, and move up. Not certain this happens at all but would be a great set up."
A subsequent post confirmed that BTC/USD was moving according to plan.
On altcoins, losses began to mount faster as Bitcoin abandoned any short-term bullish signals.
Ethereum (ETH) lost $2,000 support and headed toward its lowest levels since the May 12 cross-crypto capitulation.
"Altcoins have retraced a lot. But previous bear markets suggest they could go lower," trader and analyst Rekt Capital warned on the day.
"If BTC loses its Macro Range Low, that would confirm more downside in the Crypto market. Which could enable Altcoins to follow their standard Bear Market correction of over -90%."ETH/USD 1-hour candle chart (Binance). Source: TradingView
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