We are at the halfway point in the week, and investors have a lot to digest. Earnings season continues, and the Federal Reserve was in the hot seat today. Board Chair Jerome Powell shared that interest rates will stay at near-zero levels, as the central bank believes more progress toward recovery is needed. However, the tone is starting to change, and some investors think the start to tapering could be around the corner. For now though, Powell maintains that inflation is merely “transitory.” Given all this, what did the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 closed down 0.02%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.36%
- The Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.7%
So what else did the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Talk Infrastructure.
While Powell held court, President Joe Biden and his administration were stoking excitement in Washington. That is because Biden and a bipartisan committee of lawmakers announced they had reached an agreement on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. This comes after months of delays — and after Republican senators voted down an earlier version of the bill last week.
As Alayna Treene wrote for Axios, this committee finished negotiations on some of the toughest issues of the infrastructure bill. While the legislation will take a few more days to draft, the announcement has sparked confidence that general debate can proceed.
So what exactly does it include?
Over the next eight years, the bill allocates roughly $1.2 trillion, including $550 billion in new spending. This includes $110 billion in funds for traditional projects like roads and bridges, as well as $65 billion for broadband and $25 billion for airports. Importantly, the deal also confirms that funding will go toward electric vehicles. Right now, lawmakers are calling for $7.5 billion for EVs and EV charging.
InvestorPlace Assistant News Writer Brenden Rearick wrote that this news put infrastructure stocks back in the spotlight on Wednesday. Investors are turning to more traditional names like Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC), one of the largest producers of construction materials. Other noteworthy plays include Reddit favorite Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLF) and EV charging specialist ChargePoint (NYSE:CHPT).
Canadian Cannabis Is Getting High
Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) kicked things off in a big way today. After reporting its quarterly figures, the Canadian cannabis giant closed higher by more than 25%.
By the numbers, Tilray had a pretty successful quarter. Net revenue rose more than 25% to $142.2 million for the quarter. The company posted a profit, sharing net income of $33.6 million, compared to a loss of $84.3 million in 2020. However, headlines quickly called to attention to the fact that Tilray missed consensus estimates. Analysts were calling for revenue of $146.2 million.
One reason for this could be ongoing lockdowns in Canada. While the United States has spent the last quarter focusing on the reopening narrative, Canadians have not been so lucky. For instance, Ontario was placed under a lockdown again in April as a new Covid-19 wave hit the province.
But lockdowns and revenue misses clearly were not enough to bring Tilray down. Why?
Well, it seems that investors are choosing to look at the report with a sense of optimism. This was the first quarterly update since Tilray merged with Aphria, making it the largest cannabis producer by sales. Its profit, plus reports of cost savings, have investors excited. CEO Irwin Simon says the company is on track to save $80 million over the next 16 months as a result of the tie-up.
Broadly, Tilray also renewed a sense of confidence in other cannabis stocks. With Tilray looking to a brighter future and investors ready to shake off lockdown woes, Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC), Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB) and Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL) also posted gains on Wednesday. You can read more about the cannabis stocks rally here.
What Else We’re Watching
- Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD) fans may need to make a trip to Brazil. There, Burger King locations have announced they will accept DOGE as a payment for the Doggper, a dog-friendly snack. Unfortunately, CoinDesk reports the chain is not accepting the crypto for human food.
- Looking for a new take on the Robinhood IPO? Interactive Brokers founder Thomas Peterffy explains that if lawmakers do crack down on the payment for order flow business, there is a case for Citadel to acquire Robinhood. That should have certainly have retail investors on watch following the GameStop (NYSE:GME) saga earlier this year.
- Although Federal Reserve fears weighed on the stock market today, a handful of short squeeze stocks continued to outperform. One such winner was Support.com (NASDAQ:SPRT), which closed higher by nearly 30%. This comes just days after Fintel identified SPRT stock as the top short squeeze opportunity for the week. Other picks include Lexaria Bioscience (NASDAQ:LEXX) and Bridgeline Digital (NASDAQ:BLIN).
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.