Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! All eyes are on Reddit stocks and altcoins this morning, with social media trends focusing on speculative opportunities. With that in mind, what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is down 0.23%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.41%
- The Nasdaq Composite is down 0.53%
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Bark for Petco.
Redditors may have cooled off heading into the weekend, but it seems momentum is returning to the world of r/WallStreetBets. Fueling the movement is a combination of social media chatter and company fundamentals. For instance, ContextLogic (NASDAQ:WISH) announced a new French e-commerce partnership and Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE) revealed new branding. This morning, Torchlight Energy (NASDAQ:TRCH) revealed a special preferred stock dividend.
At the same time, the chatter around short squeezes carries on in full force.
One of the top trending tickers this morning is Petco (NASDAQ:WOOF), although shares are down roughly 5% in morning trading. Short volume is around 30% in this retail stock, and Reddit investors are promising a short squeeze. Also helping matters is the fact that Petco is in a booming business — many American households turned to new furry friends to cope during the pandemic. Even in a reopened world, those households will have to keep spending on food, toys and veterinarian care. That bodes well for Petco and its peers like Chewy (NYSE:CHWY).
But the pop in Petco sentiment this morning raises other questions. As Shivdeep Dhaliwal wrote this morning for Benzinga, some on r/WallStreetBets are not convinced the interest in WOOF stock is genuine. In fact, one poster said that a botnet had “tricked” the retail investing crowd to pile into the trade. With everyone searching for the next big thing, could fake comments be enough to create a winner?
Following the successes of GameStop (NYSE:GME) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) we have seen a rise of other short-squeeze names. Some of these come with more Reddit backing, and others pop for just a few hours, like GEO Group (NYSE:GEO). However, as we saw with a Bank of America report and Zillow (NASDAQ:Z), it can be important to look beneath the surface.
Petco may be the next best thing, but in investing, you don’t want your dog to eat your homework.
Washington Prime Files for Bankruptcy
As we saw with Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ:RIDE), r/WallStreetBets is not omnipotent.
Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Washington Prime Group (NYSE:WPG), a retail investing favorite, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. This comes after Covid-19 hit the real estate investment trust hard, threatening its underlying business. For those unfamiliar, Washington Prime specializes in strip malls and enclosed shopping centers. During the pandemic, that type of brick-and-mortar retailing just did not thrive.
As Washington Prime group disclosed, it has lost many tenants during the pandemic. Now, it has a $100 million loan to continue operations during bankruptcy. It also hopes to turn things around shore up its balance sheet.
So what is the bottom line? Washington Prime was a popular target with retail investors last week, seeing its shares climb as high as $6.98. Although it is certainly a target for short-sellers given the focus of its real estate business, a short squeeze cannot reverse its mall tenant fate. For investors still interested in WPG stock, the hope is that Washington Prime can continue to leverage investor interest, raise funds and power out into a brighter future.
What Else We’re Watching
- The Federal Reserve is convening its June meeting today, and investors are wondering what comes next in terms of inflation and central bank policy. As Paul Tudor Jones said yesterday, a move by the Fed to blow off inflation fears could be a catalyst for piling into so-called inflation trades. These include Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD), gold, commodities and stocks that do well in the face of rising consumer prices.
- SafeMoon (CCC:SAFEMOON-USD), a cryptocurrency with a history of scam allegations, is moving forward with the beta launch of its crypto wallet. This has the altcoin once again trending on social media.
- Later this week, Angel Oak Mortgage will hit the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker AOMR. Investors should pay close attention, as this real estate investment trust specializes in loans made to high-quality, non-qualified borrowers.
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.