Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! Investors may be gearing up for a long weekend (I know I am), but there is no shortage of news to start the week. Before you start day-dreaming about afternoons at the pool, make sure you are caught up. So what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is up 1.03%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.59%
- The Nasdaq Composite is up 1.4%
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Talk Space.
Are you ready for blast off? Investors in Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) sure are, after the weekend brought the suborbital spaceflight company its third test flight. This was also its first-ever flight from Spaceport America, New Mexico.
As InvestorPlace contributor Robert Lakin wrote this morning, the VSS Unity successfully launched from the VMS Eve mothership, ultimately hitting altitudes of 55.45 miles. Two astronauts, CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay, were aboard the Unity.
Surely, the successful return of these astronauts and the VSS Unity to the runway has investors excited. However, more promising is what comes next.
Analysts have been quick to say that this weekend’s flight was a huge milestone for Virgin Galactic. A series of delays have prevented other test flights, and forced back key timelines. For a while, investors have faced uncertainty when it comes to Virgin Galactic’s commercial launch.
Now though, that launch seems to be just around the corner. Virgin Galactic says it will get busy interpreting the data from this test flight, and will move ahead with a next test. That one will include more Virgin staff, such as founder Sir Richard Branson. Bloomberg writes that this next test could occur as soon as this summer. Ticket sales for its suborbital flights could also resume soon.
The Geopolitics of Crypto Regulations
The cryptocurrency chaos continued over the weekend, taking Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) as low as $31,000 before it started to recover.
It seems that much of the latest round of volatility is a continuation from the past trading week. Investors initially learned that China would levy new, anti-crypto restrictions on its financial institutions. These would prevent institutions from performing any transactions relating to cryptocurrencies. Then, officials took things up a notch, discussing the consumer dangers of cryptos. Although not specific, reports suggested that China was looking to crack down on its vast network of cryptocurrency miners.
For investors, an interesting story is in how other countries will respond. Regulators in the U.S. are talking crypto taxes, while Hong Kong wants to ban retail traders from touching crypto. Over the weekend, we got more insight into where the rest of the world will fall.
Uganda joined the conversation over the weekend, citing concern with illegally operating virtual asset providers. Its Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) is asking for a thorough legal framework for cryptocurrencies in the country.
On the other hand, Russia may be moving to ease its regulations. After enforcing a crypto payments ban in January, regulators are considering at least partially lifting that ban. If this talk moves forward, Russia could allow crypto payments as a contractual medium.
So what is the bottom line? The crypto regulatory landscape is a key talking point for Bitcoin bears. For now at least, expect these country-level updates to continue driving price volatility.
Want Cash for Your Vax?
Krispy Kreme has committed itself to giving vaccinated Americans free donuts for the rest of the year, and some corporate employers want to follow suit… in their own ways.
As Bob Herman writes for Axios, not all companies are interested in mandating Covid-19 vaccinations yet. Instead, they are hoping to incentivize employees to get vaccinated, and ultimately, boost the immunity threshold in the U.S. Some companies are offering free rides to vaccine sites. Others are offering cash.
However, Herman highlights that there is a catch. While these cash bonuses sound like a fun way to get more employees vaccinated and safely back in the office, employment law puts them in a grey area. What rewards — and of what size — can companies give without violating privacy, anti-discrimination and disability laws? According to Axios, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is still figuring that out.
In the meantime, some employers are finding creative, non-cash workarounds. At Anthem (NYSE:ANTM), employees will receive a credit to lower their health insurance premiums. At American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), employees will get an extra day off next year.
The bottom line is that with the July herd immunity deadline fast approaching, employers are trying to get creative about vaccines. Depending on what the EEOC rules, they may have to change their tunes. As Herman writes, one possible result could be more widespread vaccine mandates.
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.