Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! Investors are once again rooting for meme stocks, and confidence in the crypto market looks to be rebounding. Other than that, Wall Street is closely watching the clock as a long weekend approaches. So with all of these forces in mind, what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is up 0.31%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.6%
- The Nasdaq Composite is up 0.12%
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Go Green.
Or at least, that is what proponents of so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing are rooting for on Thursday. These eco-friendly themes have come up again in a big way, and eyes are mostly on the oil giants.
In a way, this all started last month when hedge fund Engine No. 1 took up a 0.02% stake in Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and made its environmental goals known. In the weeks sense, Engine has been working to get other investors on board with its vision, focusing on the risks to XOM stock in a lower-carbon future. Thanks to this campaign, the relatively small hedge fund nabbed itself two seats yesterday on the Exxon board. Another seat was still too close to call yesterday evening.
So what does this mean?
Engine No. 1 has taken issue with the fact that Exxon has not published a plan to transition away from oil and gas, unlike some of its peers. Now, with an activist investor flexing muscle on its board, the team at Robinhood Snacks writes it may not have a choice.
Importantly for investors, XOM stock is not alone. Peer Shell (NYSE:RDS-A, NYSE:RDS-B) also took a hit on Wednesday, when a Dutch court ordered the company to cut its emissions. Other countries could follow, forcing Shell to further embrace a cleaner future.
The bottom line: ESG goals have come more into the mainstream during the Covid-19 pandemic, and with President Joe Biden in the White House. However, these oil giants are facing off with eco-friendly activists at a time when Wall Street is calling for a profitable boom in oil prices. That makes the path ahead murky, even for oil market supporters.
Not So Ridiculous: Carl Icahn Eyes $1.5 Billion Crypto Bet
Legendary Carl Icahn has previously made his feelings on crypto clear, calling it “ridiculous” in 2018. Now, it sounds like Icahn has changed his tune in a meaningful way.
As CoinDesk reported, the billionaire is contemplating a $1.5 billion investment in cryptocurrency. Icahn did not elaborate on how exactly he would approach this big bet, but he told Bloomberg that he is now seriously reconsidering the entire market. Importantly, he has resigned himself to the fact that crypto is here to stay, and he is looking for the best opportunity.
On the surface level, this is a huge victory for crypto fanatics. Carl Icahn is no small name, and his reversal on cryptocurrencies feels like a major endorsement. However, Icahn did warn that many cryptos trading today — and many crypto proponents — will not be winners over the long term. In other words, don’t expect Icahn to throw his weight behind Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD) anytime soon.
For investors, stock market influencers signaling their support for Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and other cryptocurrencies is a huge upside catalyst. Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Michael Saylor, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Each of these individuals is responsible for rallies in their favored cryptocurrencies — and major shifts in the broader market. As this group continues to attract well-respected names like Carl Icahn and Ray Dalio, it seems certain that crypto will deliver on its disruptive promises.
What Else We’re Watching
- Analysts are cautioning investors to pay close attention to copper prices as an indicator of inflation sentiment. Right now, investors are taking copper and other commodity prices higher in response to inflationary fears. If prices start to come back down, we could see sentiment on inflation shift.
- After unveiling the F-150 Lightning, Ford (NYSE:F) is upping its bet on electric vehicles. The automaker announced it would invest $30 billion in electrification. It also says that by 2030, it wants 40% of its global auto sales to be all-electric. This is further stoking talk that Ford could force Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and other EV startups into a bad position.
- The meme stocks rally continues, boosting interest in GameStop (NYSE:GME), AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) and other short-squeeze stocks. This means that the pain for short-sellers is also continuing. On Wednesday, one estimate suggests that short-sellers lost a collective $673 million on their bets against GME and AMC stock.
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.