Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! Lorde released her first single in several years, scientists have embraced a new ocean and Crocs (NYSE:CROX) has debuted… controversial… new stilettos. As you listen to Solar Power on loop and cross your fingers for a full-length album, what else will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is down 0.05%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.13%
- The Nasdaq Composite is flat
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Look for Gold.
Investors seem to agree that digital currencies will be the future… or at least a key part of it.
But until we get to a world where the blockchain controls everything, the volatility in cryptocurrency prices may be a hard pill to swallow. Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) prices have come down more than 50% from their all-time highs, and its altcoin peers have not been much better. Regulatory threats, environmental concerns and the role of crypto in cyber attacks all are weighing on the space. Moonshot cryptocurrencies like Kishu Inu (CCC:KISHU-USD) are just a whole lot less fun when everyone is losing money.
It makes sense then that investors are pivoting to another use case: stability. Today Muyao Shen wrote for CoinDesk that gold-backed tokens are rapidly gaining institutional interest. As their name implies, these are digital tokens physically backed by the precious metal. The cumulative market capitalization for these tokens has grown 30-fold since the start of 2020.
So what is the appeal? As Shen highlights, these tokens may be the perfect way for institutional investors to dabble in digital currencies without all of the traditional crypto risks. Plus, their gold backing makes them an appealing hedge against inflation. Pax Gold (CCC:PAXG-USD) and Tether Gold (CCC:XAUT-USD) have both seen notable growth. Lesser-known companies like Asia Broadband (OTCMKTS:AABB) have also drawn attention for their gold-backed token endeavors.
For investors, this pivot to gold-backed cryptos should make sense. Bitcoin prices are cooling, and volatility has been the talk of Wall Street. With the Federal Reserve prepping its latest paper on a central bank digital currency, it seems stability will be the name of the game… at least until the next big theme emerges.
Stablecoins Continued: Meet Flow
Dapper Labs may not be the most familiar name, but the company behind NBA Top Shot and Crypto Kitties has certainly captivated a wide investing audience. It has become a big name in the non-fungible token (NFT) space and is potentially prepping an initial public offering.
According to the latest reports, it is also making a grand entrance into the realm of stablecoins.
Its first creation is FUSD, a stablecoin that runs on its native Flow blockchain. Importantly, this will be the first fiat-backed cryptocurrency on that blockchain, and Dapper Labs thinks it will go a long way toward growing the digital currency space. That is because having FUSD could enable developers to pay for digital products. It could also make Dapper Labs and Flow more accessible in the U.S. and Canadian markets — the current Flow (CCC:FLOW-USD) token is not widely available in those countries.
So what is the bottom line? At first glance, this effort by Dapper Labs to launch FUSD highlights the pivot to real utility. However, moonshot fans can also find some hope. Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou talks about FUSD as a way to offer even the largest companies a zero-risk ramp into the digital currency space.
“The CryptoKitties game developer is making efforts towards the development of other stablecoins on the Flow blockchain, including the Flow-native ETH cryptocurrency. Stablecoins will allow users to pay for digital products in token form while developers collect that payment in their preferred token, in a single transaction. Dapper Labs also promises to simplify crypto payment in a Stripe-like manner.”
A Secret Garden of Retail Stocks
As Kate Marino wrote for Axios this week, retail investors may be missing out on an excellent opportunity. Although meme stocks and blank-check companies have promised astronomical returns, there may be a secret corner of the market even more primed for a pop.
That corner holds retailers that entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy thanks to Covid-19 and a whole host of other worries. Now, as these companies turn themselves around, Marino thinks they could be juicy.
Take for instance J. Crew. The preppy retailer first went public in 2006, but faced challenges as it failed to embrace trends like athleisure and the fast fashion prominent on e-commerce sites. The company went private again in 2010, where it remains under the ownership of private equity firms. Its failure to play ball with more trend-oriented retailers and the damages of Covid-19 forced it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2020. But now, the company has exited bankruptcy protections and its earnings are rebounding.
The market J. Crew exists in is odd — as Marino writes, J. Crew shares are not listed anywhere and cannot be electronically traded. However, she learned that as earnings have improved, these shares climbed from $9 in March 2021 to $17. This pegs the equity at $1.7 billion.
J. Crew has other friends in this secret garden of bankruptcy — Neiman Marcus, Belk and J.C. Penney. If these companies re-enter the public market, Marino writes they could be a juicy story. As we have seen with the likes of Express (NYSE:EXPR), Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) and even Build-a-Bear (NYSE:BBW), r/WallStreetBets loves a good turnaround story.
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.