What a busy day! Cryptocurrencies were on a tear, tech companies were on watch, and investors were busy circling some upcoming market events in their calendars. Before you log off, make sure you are all caught up. So what did the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.07%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.29%
- The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 0.37%
So what did the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Prep for Gensler.
Tomorrow U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler will go before Congress, and what he says could have big impacts on both Robinhood and Citadel. Published commentary ahead of his committee appearance already has investors on watch.
There are two market events in question — the GameStop (NYSE:GME) short squeeze and the unwinding of Archegos Capital Management. Gensler has floated restrictions on family offices and hedge funds, such as new requirements to disclosure derivative and short positions, in efforts to reduce volatility. He has also already talked about the practice of payment for order flow, the practice in which Citadel and its peers pay for the right to execute orders. Tomorrow, investors can expect Gensler to recommend adding more scrutiny to this practice.
For retail investors, one of the biggest impacts could come from regulatory action on Robinhood.
Gensler will tell lawmakers tomorrow that trading apps like Robinhood are one of his priorities. He believes that they encourage investors to buy and sell more frequently, and their relationships with market makers may be limiting competition. Also of concern? So-called gamification features that make Robinhood feel (in some ways) like a video game.
What is the bottom line? Changes are already coming on Wall Street, as seen with the latest SPAC guidance. Although Gensler has not outlined a timeline for any regulatory proposals, investors should be paying close attention.
Ethereum Classic Highlights a New Altcoin Craze
Today, Ethereum Classic (CCC:ETC-USD) rocketed more than 50% to a new record high above $94. Its massive move also shot it up the crypto rankings, leaving it in the No. 17 spot in terms of market capitalization. Although exciting for altcoin investors, the major gains in Ethereum Classic prices have left many on Wall Street confused.
As we wrote earlier today, there are a variety of theories at play. All of them rest on the fact that Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD), from which ETC forked off in 2016, has also been setting new highs. The larger cryptocurrency is gaining from upcoming blockchain upgrades, including a big shift to a proof-of-stake model.
With this in mind, some speculators think that investors merely view ETC as a lower-cost way to play Ethereum. However, other analysts think there is a more genuine reason for the appeal. Ethereum Classic could be considered a way to fight inflation, given its finite supply of coins.
So what is the takeaway? Ethereum and Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) are showstoppers, but an interesting theme is emerging. Just a few weeks ago, Bitcoin Gold (CCC:BTG-USD) rocketed more than 170% as some considered it a cheaper Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (CCC:BCH-USD), another fork of BTC, gained nearly 40% today. Will these be the next altcoins in the spotlight?
Get Ready for Summer Fun With Wedding Stocks
The hunt for Covid-19 reopening plays has taken investors from cruise stocks to condom stocks and perhaps every sector in between. There is one more bling-filled opportunity on the horizon.
As Mike Allen wrote for Axios this morning, the wedding industry came to a standstill in 2020. Restrictions on gatherings kept many weddings from happening (mine included) and left vendors struggling to stay afloat. The summer of 2021 promises to be a different story.
According to regional vendors, this summer is already busier than ever, with bookings piling in. Couples who rescheduled from 2020 are fighting for dates with newly engaged couples, and Allen concludes it will be a bumper year for the industry. Essentially, it is the same pent-up demand catalyst driving spending on luxury handbags and skinny jeans. Importantly, it also comes with the heavy emotions of mingling with family and friends again for the first time in months.
Investors looking for a little bit of sparkle should then consider retail stocks that offer exposure to this red-hot industry. Bed, Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) steals the show with its registry offerings, and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) has historically benefitted from its wedding collection and partnerships with youth-focused brands like The Black Tux.
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 the Editor of Today’s Market with InvestorPlace.com.