Phew, what a start to the week! The major indices all gained on the day, and a lot of big headlines kept investors busy. So what did the stock market do today? Dive in with InvestorPlace below.
To start, stocks all ended up in the green. The S&P 500 gained 0.65%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.53%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also gained, by 1.05%.
So what else did the stock market do today? Take a look at these top three stories.
What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Bet on Vaccines.
Investors are not ready to give up on speculative Covid-19 vaccine plays, and perhaps for good reason.
Although individuals in the U.S. have access to shots from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), other companies are looking for a slice of the pie. For shareholders, the hope is that these shots can find a niche, or perhaps just boost supply while the world races to return to normal.
One such company is biotech firm Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN), which is partnered with Bharat Biotech. Bharat has developed its COVAXIN, which is already rolling out in India as large-scale trials wrap up. Ocugen has a deal to commercialize the Covid-19 shot in the U.S. and take a cut of the money, as long as the vaccine receives approval from regulatory authorities. That case has felt like a stretch to some investors, although Bharat Biotech has continued to press ahead.
Today though, OCGN stock got a meaningful boost.
CEO Shankar Musunuri told Reuters today that Ocugen plans to sell 100 million doses in the U.S. in 2021. Additionally, the company anticipates launching its vaccine some time in the second quarter, following FDA authorization. COVAXIN could help serve as a booster shot, or potentially protect children over the age of 12.
There is another, perhaps more speculative company to watch. Aeterna Zentaris (NASDAQ:AEZS) spiked today after sharing updates on its vaccine commercialization plans. Working with a German research university, Aeterna hopes to launch an oral vaccine. This would be easier to consume and to transport, potentially creating an niche for this biotech.
Is It Time to Start Spending?
Spring is here (sort of) and Covid-19 restrictions are easing up in the United States. For investors, that may mean that a whole bunch of money is about to hit the stock market.
According to various reports, the pandemic has exacerbated a trend toward saving excess money. In fact, American households could have between $1.5 trillion and $1.8 trillion in excess savings over the last 11 months. Although this trend was in motion prior to Covid-19, some hope that a return to normal will also mean a big return to spending.
There are signs that this is in motion. New passenger throughput data from the TSA show that airline traffic is picking back up, touching as high as 1.4 million passengers in a day. As a result, airline stocks today like American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) gained. After months without recreational travel, many consumers are ready to explore, or simply to see their family members again.
This logic boosted other names today. AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) gained on hopes that consumers will use their stimulus checks to buy movie tickets… and AMC stock. Macy’s (NYSE:M), the hard-hit retailer, bounced on hopes for a new era for malls. Carnival (NYES:CCL) gained, and so did Hilton (NYSE:HLT).
What should you watch? These reopening trades may still face roadblocks. Ahead of the spring break travel season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is cautioning that travel is not recommended for anyone. Additionally, public health officials are warning of a potential spring surge.
Keep an eye on this narrative, and on consumer spending. It will sure to be back in the spotlight soon.
Wall Street Gets a Little High
Today a handful of cannabis stocks enjoyed some time in the spotlight, each for different reasons.
Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL), a more speculative company popular with Reddit investors, announced that it had formed a new joint venture. As a result, it will research new cannabis products and potentially launch a Canadian blank-check company. For SNDL stock, it seems that this deal follows up other good news. Investors are turning bullish, and earnings later this quick could potentially ease dilution concerns.
Elsewhere in Canada, Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) and Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA) announced upcoming meetings regarding their merger. Although the dates are in April, it seems investors are excited for more details. GrowGeneration (NASDAQ:GRWG) acquired Char Coir, a hydroponic growing play, and Greenrose Acquisition (NASDAQ:GNRS) announced that it was buying four U.S. cannabis businesses for $210 million.
What does this mean for investors? Cannabis stocks remain in a bit of limbo as investors wait for more updates on U.S. legalization. However, good news just seems to keep trickling in.
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.