Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! Ford (NYSE:F) is rolling out its big electric vehicle and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is finally retiring Internet Explorer. With so much pop culture disruption, what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is up 0.59%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.18%
- The Nasdaq Composite is up 1.16%
So what else did the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Talk Chinese Stocks.
Early this morning, investors were paying close attention to Chinese equities. Over-the-counter shares of companies like BYD Group (OTCMKTS:BYDDF), Xiaomi (OTCMKTS:XIACF) and Geely Automobile Holdings were trending higher.
It seems that the boost is coming from news out of Washington, after the U.S. Treasury announced it would delay its ban on companies allegedly connected to the Chinese military. Prior to the announcement, the ban was set to go into effect on May 27. Now, President Joe Biden and his administration have extended the grace period through June 11. As a result, investors will have more time to comply with the coming policy.
Additionally, the U.S. announced earlier in May that it had removed Xiaomi from its blacklist. For investors unfamiliar, this so-called blacklist is a grouping of companies that are alleged to aid the Chinese military. The ban was first announced in November 2020 by former President Donald Trump, and has introduced great volatility for American investors trading these Chinese equities.
Also helping matters? China promised to stabilize commodity prices amid consumer concerns, and companies like BYD and Geely reported promising business updates.
The Blockchain Is About to Get Electric
Electric vehicles, such as those from Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), are largely considered a solution to environmental concerns. Proponents for clean energy support battery EVs or hydrogen fuel cell EVs, pushing for greater infrastructure and better tech.
However, critics highlight that not all elements of electric vehicles are green. As Tesla shareholder resolutions have highlighted, the cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries does not always come from clean (or safe) supply chains. Writing for CoinTelegraph, Marie Huillet shared that 70% of the global cobalt supply is exported from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Human rights groups have focused on that, detailing violence, the use of child labor, and dangerous working conditions. Deep-sea practices for mining cobalt are not much better.
Recognizing the need for cobalt as companies, consumers and governments push for electrification, a handful of miners are hoping to turn to the blockchain for help. Glencore (OTCMKTS:GLNCY), Eurasian Resources Group, CMOC and Umicore (OTCMKTS:UMICY) are piloting a blockchain solution known as RelSource. This will make the cobalt supply chain traceable, hopefully giving companies better insight into where the component is coming from.
Although pilot participants warn this is not a complete solution, it highlights the growing uses of blockchain tech. With more electric vehicle companies looking to make a difference, this story should be on your radar.
Got… Oat Milk?
You want oat milk with that latte, right?
Wall Street apparently does, as Swedish Oatly (NASDAQ:OTLY) hits the stock market today. Backed by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, Jay Z and Howard Schultz, the company raised $1.4 billion in its initial public offering. This comes as Oatly offered 84.4 million American depositary shares at $17 each.
So what is the big deal? Oatly is a leading brand in the market for vegan milk products, selling its oat-based beverages in more than 20 markets. As Reuters highlighted, key demand leaders for these products are younger millennials and members of Generation Z.
Leading into the pandemic, experts were picking up on trends toward plant-based and eco-conscious food alternatives. Companies like Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) have been accelerating, and Oatly is hoping to leverage that same interest. Helping matters is the fact that many consumers are trending more toward these options in the wake of Covid-19. The logic? The pandemic highlighted the importance of individual choices for the planet. Investors should also note that the greater reopening narrative will likely benefit health food options, as consumers move away from more indulgent snack choices.
If you are feeling a bit thirsty today, consider giving the Oatly stock IPO a close look. If nothing else, it will give Wall Street an updated look at the state of the IPO market.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Sarah Smith is the Editor of Today’s Market with InvestorPlace.com.