Today was a huge day for the major indices, with the Dow reaching an all-time high and the Nasdaq avoiding its fifth-straight day of losses. Crypto continued to surge and Gary Gensler took on some hard-hitting questions from Congress. So, what did the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.82%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.93%
- The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.37%
What else did the stock market do today? Here are the top stories.
What Did the Stock Market Do Today? It Was Wowed by the Dow.
The Dow had the most exceptional day of all the major economic indices today. The Industrial Average surged 318 points by close, ending the day on a high of $34,548.53.
The record high suggests we are at a time where post-pandemic enthusiasm is beginning to surge. Bulls are looking to cyclical stocks as evidence and they are finding it in gobs. General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Kroger (NYSE:KR), Boeing (NYSE:BA) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) are all up today as consumer enthusiasm appears to be heating up to pre-pandemic levels.
Also supplementing the bullish Dow is an impressive run for the retail and tech giants. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) all wrapped up the day in the green.
As the nation sees continually improving unemployment rates, investors can find reasons to be bullish on cyclical stocks. According to Investing.com, “the number of people filing for unemployment fell 92,000 to 498,000 in the week ending May 1.” This is the lowest level of unemployment claims since March 2020. Analysts also estimate that 978,000 jobs were created in the last month. It would be intuitive to assume these jobs being created are in cyclical sectors.
Crypto Stays White-Hot While Exchange Plays Flounder
Investor interest in cryptocurrency is still at unprecedented heights following April’s altcoin mania. Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD) is holding close to 60 cents today after doubling in value this week. Now it seems to be open season for hard forked coins as trading volume has skyrocketed. Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) fork Ethereum Classic (CCC:ETC-USD) is up about 60% on the day with nearly double the average trading volume. And, Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) forks Bitcoin Gold (CCC:BTG-USD) and Bitcoin Cash (CCC:BCH-USD) are following in ETC’s footsteps. It’s clear that investors are taking pains to find the next Dogecoin in these hard forked digital currencies and they are on the right trail.
The crypto hype is continuing to bleed onto Wall Street as well. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is cashing in on the crypto craze with an announcement that it is now offering Bitcoin derivatives. The contracts were quietly launched in April and follow Goldman Sachs’ re-opening of its crypto trading desk in early 2021.
However, all the hype can’t save Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) from its post-IPO hangover. The biggest U.S. crypto exchange tanked to an all-time low of $250.51 today, less than a dollar over its reference price. The freefall has investors readjusting their views on the stock and calling its valuation into question.
While COIN is safe from the same “fad” scrutiny of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) given its infrastructure, there are still a lot of questions. We don’t yet know what will come of government regulations of cryptocurrency. Plus, it seems that many are disenchanted with the idea of owning a stock that may be left out of a governmental restructuring of crypto.
Gary Gensler Chats With House Reps Over GameStop and Archegos
Newly sworn-in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler took the hot seat this afternoon as Congress continues to probe for information surrounding GameStop (NYSE:GME). Gensler has been tasked with sorting out the aftermath of the GME short squeeze back in January, which rewarded retail investors greatly for their coordinated attack on short sellers.
Gensler came prepared for the testimony with a host of new rules being considered by the SEC for trading. The rules mostly target short sellers, like requiring greater disclosures of short positions. Also notable were rules for increasing transparency in security lending as well as disclosure rules for equity swaps. The latter of these was cited by Gensler as a result of Archegos’ March implosion.
Also on the agenda for Gensler was continuing a dialogue about the “gamification” of retail trading applications. The newly minted SEC chair noted that a request for public opinion is being drafted, asking for input around how these apps attract retail investors with points and rewards. On top of this, Gensler announced an additional draft proposing an expedition on two-day transaction settlements.
The testimony today seems to be pleasing Democrats, as Gensler shows continued promise in cracking down on opaque Wall Street trading tactics. The new rules and the two draft proposals should do well in protecting retail investors from app gamification as well as in making short-selling much easier to spot.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.