Bitcoin bonanza and Dollar Tree earnings: Here's what could drive markets Thursday

As the S&P 500 narrowly closed at a record high, here are the three market themes that macro strategist Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management will be watching.

1. Bitcoin bonanza

Bitcoin surged to yet another all-time high in late Wednesday trading, crossing the $2,500 mark for the first time, according to CoinDesk data. The volatile digital currency has now roughly doubled in the past month, and Schlossberg sees further upside for the currency that's enjoyed a "parabolic" rise.

Now that bitcoin has broken through $2,500, "there's a very strong chance that it's going to zero in on the $3,000 level, which is going to create a massive amount of retail awareness in Bitcoin," Schlossberg said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

"I'm going to be watching that very carefully to see how it trades over the next day or two," he added.

Schlossberg said in an interview with CNBC earlier this month that he considers bitcoin a wise hedging play for equity investors.

2. Dollar Tree earnings

Dollar Tree is set to report earnings before Thursday's opening bell, and Schlossberg will be closely watching the quarterly results, as "it's one of those retailers that seems to be immune to the Amazon effect."

"As a matter of fact, it's one of those retailers that is actually expanding its store base, and I'm going to be watching not only their earnings to see how well they've done this quarter, but to see if they're really going to increase their store base over the next coming quarters," he added.

Such a forecast, Schlossberg said, would indicate the chain has "strong faith in the comeback of the U.S. consumer."

Analysts are forecasting earnings of 98 cents per share, per FactSet data; the median price target on the now-$78 stock is $90. The stock has advanced just more than 1 percent year to date.

3. $50 oil

OPEC and nonmember oil producers are set to meet Thursday in Vienna to discuss crude supply. Schlossberg will be watching oil prices, as they may be impacted by decisions made at the meeting. Crude recently resumed trading above the technically significant $50 per barrel level.

"It's going to be very interesting to see if they're going to be able to issue a statement that will curtail production and make sure that oil remains above that $50 a barrel level as we go forward," he said.

Oil settled slightly lower on Wednesday ahead of the meeting.

Todd Gordon, founder of, is betting on further downside for the commodity that's slid more than 4 percent year to date.

Specifically, he noted that the oil-tracking USO exchange-traded fund has moved into "technical resistance," and planned to use options to bet on a short-term drop for the fund.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET). In addition, he contributes to CNBC and CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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