As we kick off a shortened trading week, what stock market news should you be watching? And more importantly, who should you be watching? InvestorPlace has rounded up five top stock market movers and shakers to help you prep for big moves ahead.
What does this all mean? Well, just as broad enthusiasm for a trend like cannabis stocks or electric vehicles can move the markets, influential individuals also have a lot of power. These people include politicians, CEOs, business icons and even legendary investors.
Get ready for the week below with these five movers and shakers.
Stock Market Mover No. 1: Joe Biden
Is this too obvious? It does seem like everyone on Wall Street is ready to closely watch the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Largely, that is because his incoming administration promises to end a brief era of chaos we have seen in Washington, D.C. since the start of 2021. But for investors, Biden also represents a few major opportunities in the stock market.
Just take a look at what is trending today! In his first few days in office, Biden has promised to dive right into climate issues. He is expected to immediately rejoin the Paris climate deal, and also scrap the permits for the Keystone XL pipeline. This signals to alternative energy bulls that Biden will deliver on his historic promises, including a $2 trillion investment in clean energy. Today, that means hydrogen names like Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) and Fusion Fuel (NASDAQ:HTOO) are on the move. Tomorrow, we could see more of the same.
Investors should also be watching cannabis stocks closely. Now that Democrats have a slight lead in the Senate, it is likely that lawmakers will decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. However, whether or not we get legalization is up to Biden and incoming Vice President Kamala Harris. Keep an eye on high-flying names like Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL) in the coming days.
Stock Market Mover No. 2: Cathie Wood
Cathie Wood sent a grouping of stocks to the moon last week after announcing her Ark Invest was launching a new exchange-traded fund. Importantly, the Space Exploration ETF, which will trade under ARKX, offers investors concentrated exposure to the up-and-coming space industry. It is no secret that Wood has made many bold calls in her career, including championing Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) before it was cool. She and her firm are known for innovation, meaning that her big bet on space is captivating attention.
What does this mean for investors? Expect the space sector to remain hot. Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) shines as a pure play, as does Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR). In the coming weeks, also look for special purpose acquisition companies to make progress on deals in the sector.
Stock Market Mover No. 3: Elon Musk
There is no way to make a list of stock market movers and shakers without including Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Even when is he not sharing company news, he still has major power over the market. As evidence, consider the fact Tesla hires customer service reps to handle “social media escalations” aimed at the EV leader.
So how will Musk move the market this week? Beyond stoking a fire in a random penny stock, it looks like the Tesla CEO will reinvigorate talk of Chinese electric vehicle makers. That is because his company debuted a made-in-China Model Y SUV and began deliveries to 10 cities. Experts believe expansion in the Chinese market is key to success for Tesla. It also speaks to a growing trend in the auto world. Companies like Nio (NYSE:NIO) and Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) are increasingly popular with U.S. investors. Legacy automakers like General Motors (NYSE:GM) plan to launch all-electric vehicles in China first.
Musk has a head start, and this week proves that. Keep an eye on what he does, and on his social media accounts.
Stock Market Mover No. 4: Michael Klein
Michael Klein is a heartbreaker. Last week, the man behind blank-check company Churchill Capital IV (NYSE:CCIV) had investors wrapped around his fingers. That is because Bloomberg reported his special purpose acquisition company was in talks to bring Lucid Motors public. CCIV stock has rocketed higher, all because of what Lucid Motors represents.
For those unfamiliar, Lucid Motors is an intriguing electric vehicle maker. Run by a former Tesla engineer, the company sees itself as a true competitor in the luxury passenger market. And perhaps most importantly, Lucid is about to start deliveries of its flagship sedan.
Unfortunately, Klein has not confirmed the SPAC merger. Today, he issued a statement addressing shareholder concerns of unusual trading. In that message he declined to comment on the Lucid Motors SPAC merger rumors, and said that his blank-check company is considering a variety of potential business combinations. CCIV stock is down in intraday trading as a result — talk about stock market movers!
Stock Market Mover No. 5: Richard Branson
Last on this list of stock market movers is Sir Richard Branson, and boy has he had a good few days. The business mogul behind the Virgin Group saw his Virgin Galactic stage a comeback, announcing it was addressing issues that caused its most recent test flight to fail. Then, the ARKX news saw SPCE stock shoot higher. This is because many investors saw Virgin Galactic shares as an obvious fit for the new exchange-traded fund.
But that is not all. Branson is behind a long list of companies, including other names in the space business. His private businesses include Virgin Orbit, which plans to launch small satellites into space to help transform the industry. Over the weekend, Virgin Orbit successfully launched 10 such satellites into orbit, using a rocket attached to a jet plane to accomplish this feat. This also marks a comeback for Virgin Orbit, which saw its own test flight fail eight months ago. And because Branson is also leading a blank-check company of his own, VG Acquisition (NASDAQ:VGAC), it is leading to some major moves.
Importantly, Branson told CNBC hosts that he is considering taking Virgin Orbit public via SPAC. Although he did not say for sure if he would use VGAC to do so, shares of the Branson-backed blank-check company are rocketing higher on their own. As the space race continues to heat up on Wall Street, keep Branson and his various endeavors top of mind.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com.