The stock market is in the middle of a key inflation print

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In the wake of a losing week, US stocks fell on Monday. Meanwhile, bitcoin (BTC-USD) surged once more as investors waited for important inflation data that would determine whether to cut interest rates.

A 0.2 percent decline was seen in the SandP 500 (\GSPC), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (\DJI) was marginally below the plateau. After a significant decline for techs on Friday, the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) was down roughly 0.2 percent.

Following February’s jobs report, which revealed robust hiring even as unemployment exceeded forecasts, stocks have fallen. This contradictory picture has not provided much clarity to the rate-cutting debate. The market is currently preparing for the final significant test ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on March 20.

Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index report is highly anticipated, as Chair Jerome Powell stated that the Fed wants to increase its level of confidence that inflation is declining before lowering interest rates. In light of this, a surprise increase would erode the hope for a change in Fed policy that has boosted stocks.

The ferocious bitcoin rally, which broke above $72,000 for the first time on Monday, is the focus of attention in the interim. Currently trading at $72,100, the top cryptocurrency has gained about 70% of its value this year.

Stocks connected to cryptocurrencies gained momentum during the rally. The stock prices of MicroStrategy (MSTR) increased by over 10%, while Coinbase (COIN) and Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) saw gains of about 5% each.

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