Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! The major indices are in a bit of a slump, and investors are working to keep up with the latest earnings news. Beyond that, what will the stock market do today? And what else should you know? Dive in with InvestorPlace below.
To start, take a look at top tickers this morning. You will find an odd bunch, mostly from quarterly earnings confessionals. Target (NYSE:TGT) and Sea Limited (NYSE:SE) are big names, as is popular insurtech Lemonade (NYSE:LMND). Another leading name is Rocket Companies (NYSE:RKT), which reported Q4 earnings last week. It seems that the mortgage originator today is benefitting from calming 10-year Treasury yields and r/WallStreetBets love.
So what else do you need to know? Take a look at these three top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Fret About Warren.
Wall Street does not exactly get along with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Now, the two progressive lawmakers are driving a further wedge into that relationship.
Warren and Sanders introduced the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act on Monday, calling for a 3% total annual tax on wealth exceeding $1 billion. They also called for a 2% annual tax on the net worth of households and trusts between $50 million and $1 billion. At the heart of this proposal is a progressive concern with income inequality. A coalition of lawmakers thinks a new wealth tax is one way to solve this.
As you can imagine, this instantly sparked fear in the stock market. Although not many people are billionaires, everyone wants to be one, and Warren knows it. How will this impact retail investors hungry for big gains? And what does this mean for investors already among the 1%?
Economists predict that such a wealth tax would affect 100,000 Americans in 2023. It would necessitate further investments in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and could raise as much as $3 trillion in the next 10 years. Right now, Warren is also saying tax revenues from this legislation would be reinvested in child care, early education, K-12 education and infrastructure spending.
Two things to watch: 1) Warren has already identified market frenzies like the Reddit stocks rally as problematic. She wants the stock market to more accurately reflect the state of the economy. 2) Consider the impact of reinvesting tax revenue in infrastructure spending. This could be a long-term boost for top infrastructure stocks like American Tower (NYSE:AMT) and Nucor (NYSE:NUE). You can read more infrastructure stocks picks here.
Vaccine Hopes Keep Picking Up
The big Covid-19 news this week is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency-use authorization to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). Its one-shot dosing regimen and easy-to-transport vaccine is already bosting hopes of an accelerated vaccine rollout.
However, there are other key Covid-19 headlines to keep on your radar.
Later today, President Joe Biden will announce that Merck (NYSE:MRK) will assist Johnson & Johnson with vaccine production. As part of this, the company will lend JNJ two of its facilities. One of those facilities will produce the actual vaccine, while the other will work on so-called fill-finish services such as placing the doses in glass vials. MRK stock is up slightly after the opening bell.
Additionally, other vaccine makers are still working to get a piece of the pie. Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) made headlines yesterday after partner Bharat Biotech ramped up vaccinations in India. Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) is nearing authorization in the United Kingdom, and approval in the U.S. could soon follow. European officials are trying to raise support for the AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) vaccine. All of these headlines speak to a growing desire to put Covid-19 in the rear-view mirror. They also speak to the reality that with Johnson & Johnson online and other companies in the pipeline, public health officials have more resources than ever to accomplish this goal.
Biden said yesterday that as much as a third of the population could be vaccinated by the end of March.
No Gas for You, California
One of the top stories yesterday was a spike in electric vehicle stocks. Hyliion (NYSE:HYLN), Ideanomics (NASDAQ:IDEX) and Workhorse (NASDAQ:WKHS) were some of the gainers on Monday, each raising attention for different positive reasons.
Today, EV stocks are getting another big boost. As Bloomberg reported, Volvo will shift to all electric cars by 2030, and also shift its focus to online sales. By 2025, the company hopes to conduct 50% of its sales through online channels. Additionally, one city in California is sparking consumer conversations.
This week, the City Council in Petaluma voted unanimously to ban new gas stations, and to prevent existing gas stations from adding new pumps. The Petaluma officials say that there are enough gas stations already, and are working to shift a focus to electric vehicles. While existing gas stations will not be able to expand, they will be able to add charging stations for EVs.
The electric future may have hit a few potholes, but the sun is still shining on EVs. Keep these stories on your radar.
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.