As this chaotic week continues to unfold, 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 some profit moves below with these five movers and shakers.
Stock Market Mover No. 1: Vlad Tenev
Perhaps no one was more influential in the stock market this week than Vlad Tenev, co-founder and co-CEO of Robinhood. The broker rose to fame for its commission-free trades and its desire to democratize investments. Up until last week, it was almost synonymous with retail investors and day traders, also attracting posters on r/WallStreetBets.
Therefore, it makes a lot of sense that Redditors turned to Robinhood as part of a short-squeeze rally in GameStop (NYSE:GME), AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) and so many other stocks. However, as the market became increasingly volatile and customer demand rose, Robinhood changed. The company temporarily banned trading in a group of Reddit stocks, and then levied restrictions against as many as 50 equities. While the move by Tenev and the rest of the C-Suite initially incited conspiracy theorists, an interview on the Clubhouse platform revealed an even deeper problem.
According to Tenev, Robinhood was caught between a rock and a hard place. When the National Securities Clearinghouse Corporation (NSCC) asked the company for a $3 billion security deposit, Tenev did not know what to do. Robinhood was short the cash, ultimately choosing to limit restrictions while it negotiated the deposit down. Granted, Robinhood has eased the restrictions and raised a considerable sum of money in the days since. But looking to the future, it looks like Tenev will hold sway on the market.
So what should you watch? Right now, we still must see how customers react. Will Robinhood be able to pull off a 2021 IPO? And will enough customers seek alternate platforms? Only time will tell.
Stock Market Mover No. 2: Jeff Bezos
Who saw this one coming? After Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) shared its fourth-quarter results, CEO Jeff Bezos announced he would be stepping down in the third quarter. While he will remain on as executive chairman, Bezos said he wants to focus on some of his other projects.
To be fair, this should not be entirely surprising. Prior to the pandemic, Bezos said he was going to step back from day-to-day operations. However, when Covid-19 disrupted the world, he jumped back behind the wheel to guide Amazon through an e-commerce boom. Now, he wants time to focus on things like his space company Blue Origin.
That is exactly where the opportunities lies for investors. Secretive Blue Origin has been around for more than 20 years, longer than SpaceX. However, with Bezos so tied up running the ship at Amazon, the company has failed to keep up with its younger rival. Now that Bezos is giving Blue Origin some serious attention, its moon-landing vehicle and space tourism business could quite literally get off the ground.
What does this mean? On one hand, there is the potential for the Blue Origin vs. SpaceX fight to drown out all other competitors. On the other hand, there is reason to believe that Bezos backing space will only heat things up for everyone else. Given the attention market leaders like Cathie Wood are also paying attention to space, there is reason to bet on the latter. For right now, that means you should keep the Blue Origin vs. SpaceX competition on your radar. But it also means you should tune into names like Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE), Astra Space (NASDAQ:HOL) and Momentus (NASDAQ:SRAC).
Stock Market Mover No. 3: Rosalind Brewer
Rosalind Brewer, also known as Roz Brewer, will soon serve as CEO over at drugstore chain Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA). She will be leaving her post at Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) to replace outgoing Stefano Pessina. And for investors, there are two things about her appointment that really stand out.
The first is that once at Walgreens, Brewer will be the only Black woman at the helm of a Fortune 500 company. Her appointment follows calls from everyday consumers, investors, politicians and financial institutions to diversify boards of directors and C-Suites. It also follows the booming theme of environmental, social and governance investing. Current data suggests that such diversity, and especially the leadership of women, actually improves stock returns.
The second is that as CNBC reports, Walgreens is embarking on a turnaround story. Brewer will face a challenge to steer the company through tough water, hopefully bringing it out on top. With Covid-19 weighing on foot traffic in 2020 and Amazon and other providers upping the competition, WBA stock is not a sure bet. However, if Brewer can face off against CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Amazon and a handful of telehealth names, the new CEO might just create a buying opportunity.
Stock Market Mover No. 4: Elon Musk
Is there ever a time when Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is not moving the market? Just last week, he created ripples in Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), GameStop, Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE) and Bitcoin (CCC:BTC). Now, his influence in cryptocurrency really stands out.
Musk is seemingly always present on social media, throwing his power behind Etsy for a Marvin the Martian dog helmet or DOGE as a meme. Now though, he is really betting big on Bitcoin. After changing his Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) bio to reflect his support, he reaffirmed his interest on Clubhouse. According to the CEO, everything is starting to look up for cryptocurrencies. That is because he thinks dominant financial players are starting to get on board.
Importantly, Musk is not alone in this opinion. As we reported earlier today, Guggenheim Partners CIO Scott Minerd agrees. As this institutional support grows, Bitcoin will continue to rally, with $600,000 as a potential long-term target. Although Musk is far from predictable, having his support will surely bolster crypto bulls. That means you should definitely keep an eye on him, and his Twitter feed.
Stock Market Mover No. 5: Whitney Wolfe Herd
Whitney Wolfe Herd co-founded Tinder, the incredibly popular dating app. Then, she founded its rival Bumble, which she will soon take public.
In fact, Bumble plans to start trading on the Nasdaq Exchange just before Valentine’s Day as BMBL stock. When it does, Wolfe Herd will become the youngest woman CEO ever to take such a tech company public. Bumble could then come public with a more than $6 billion valuation, making that feat nothing to scoff at. Additionally, according to data from 2020 IPOs, of the 442 companies that came public, only a handful had women CEOs or founders.
Beyond this victory, Bumble also represents an exciting opportunity in the stock market. Despite the social limitations of Covid-19, customers have been turning to platforms like Bumble for connection. While virtual dating and socially distanced meetups are helping the platform keep buzzing, you can also view BMBL stock as a pandemic turnaround play.
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.