Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! The sun is shining, r/WallStreetBets is busy churning out short-squeeze targets and short-sellers are losing a whole lot of money. In the meantime, there is a lot for investors to digest as we wrap up a short trading week. So what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is down 0.53%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.33%
- The Nasdaq Composite is down 0.95%
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Squeeze.
The meme stocks action is still not slowing down, and a class of new winners is emerging.
On Thursday morning, traditional r/WallStreetBets names like AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) and BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) are coming in second place. Workhorse (NASDAQ:WKHS), the maker of electric, delivery-focused vehicles, is coming in hot. It seems that as investors look for the next short squeeze target, WKHS is a logical pick.
As InvestorPlace contributor Robert Lakin highlighted, Workhorse may not have the traditional meme status of AMC or GameStop (NYSE:GME). However, it does boast roughly 40% of its float being sold short. For retail investors, that appears to be the juiciest detail.
More importantly, in the battle against hedge funds and evil short-sellers, Workhorse certainly has a compelling story. The company skyrocketed on all-electric hopes, and has quickly fallen from its highs. Short-sellers like Hindenburg Research, Lakewood Capital and Fuzzy Panda have played a huge role in this demise. Firms betting against Workhorse have historically taken fault with its valuation, and how much pressure rested on the U.S. Postal Service Contract.
We're short $WKHS because we think there's immediate 50% downside. The company has an astronomical valuation of ~$1.5B despite less than $100k in revenue last quarter.
We see the chance of winning a material USPS contract as virtually zero. A reality check is on its way.
— Hindenburg Research (@HindenburgRes) July 10, 2020
Now, thanks to a shared enemy, companies like Workhorse and Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) are riding the Reddit rocket higher. How far they can go — or how long it will last — remains to be seen.
One more story: AMC is also making waves this morning after the movie theater operator announced plans to sell nearly 12 million shares at the market. Following nearly 300% gains in five trading days, this is a smart move to leverage retail interest.
Is Your Portfolio Really Safe?
Cybersecurity has come front and center thanks to a series of high-profile cyber attacks.
First, investors watched as a cyber attack brought operations of the Colonial Pipeline to a halt, creating panic around a gas shortage on the East Coast. Then, an attack on JBS (OTCMKTS:JBSAY), one of the largest meat producers, brought things even closer to home.
JBS was forced to shutdown all of its U.S. operations after a weekend cyber attack. This is a big deal, because JBS is one of the four largest meat producers in the entire world. It is also responsible for roughly 80% of beef processing in the U.S.
These two consumer-facing attacks come as the ransomware business blossoms — in fact, the team at Robinhood Snacks has identified a ransomware-as-a-service market making waves around the world. Plus, complicating factors is the request for ransom to be paid in Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) or other cryptos. Companies that pay ransoms to get operations back up and running may only further incentivize future attacks.
Not so worried about meat plants and pipelines? Yesterday, consumers learned of two much more personal cyber attacks. As the Wall Street Journal reported, both the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the operator of the Martha’s Vineyard ferry were victims of cyber attacks.
This is certainly scary news, and it brings two next steps for investors.
The first is a catalyst to examine cybersecurity stocks. Right now, many are hoping that governments take greater action against the rise of cyber crime. Although this include state-level discussions, further federal investments in cybersecurity could give relevant companies a boost. One of the best picks right now could be FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE).
The second is that cryptos are about to be in the hot seat. In response to the attack on JBS, President Joe Biden is calling for an expansion of crypto analysis that would track payments to attackers. Investors should look for this to spark a rise in privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like Zcash (CCC:ZEC-USD), Horizen (CCC:ZEN-USD) and Monero (CCC:XMR-USD).
Amazon Wants to Get a Little High…
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is making some new friends in the cannabis world, but it soon could become a big enemy.
In a new blog post, the company announced that it would relax its restrictions on cannabis use for employees. Additionally, it said it would no longer enforce marijuana drug tests for most employees. Some workers, like delivery drivers, will still be subject to tests under Department of Transportation regulations.
More broadly, Amazon is throwing its weight behind the cannabis fight, announcing that it supported cannabis legalization at the federal level. In practice, this means its public policy team will endorse the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021.
The immediate impact of this is a sustained rally in cannabis stocks like Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) and Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL). These equities are rallying because there is simply no denying that Amazon has a lot of power, including in Washington. Therefore, if Amazon is going to lobby for federal legalization, the thinking goes that cannabis could be having its heyday in the U.S. sooner than later.
However, cannabis bulls should look to the long term. The moves by Amazon are already prompting some huge speculation, including that the e-commerce giant is eyeing a future in the cannabis sales business. Whether or not Amazon will disrupt traditional cannabis retailers remains to be seen, but this is a story worth watching.
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.