What Did the Stock Market Do Today, Aug. 19? 3 Big Stories to Catch Up On.

Investors have had a long week. They saw the major indices fall from a five-day winning streak, taking a dip thanks to worse-than-expected retail sales and Federal Reserve jitters. Growing geopolitical tensions and the delta variant are also weights on the market. However, the S&P 500 started to turnaround on Thursday, closing higher for the first time in three days. With that in mind, what all did the stock market do today?

Street sign for Wall Street pictured in front of several American flags representing american stocks

Source: Shutterstock

  • The S&P 500 closed up by 0.13%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down by 0.19%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed up by 0.11%

So what else did the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.

What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Enter the Metaverse.

Big names on Wall Street like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) are betting on the metaverse, the idea of a collective, virtual space. In these spaces, users will always be able to interact with each other, and there will not be any down time. There will also be digital objects and locations to visit and engage with.

Facebook, already a hub of internet communication, wants to embrace the metaverse in a larger way. CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said that he wants Facebook to be thought of primarily as a metaverse company, beyond just the parent of social media networks. Roblox is also embracing the metaverse, and its community-focused gaming platform lends itself well to the idea.

But for investors, what does the metaverse really mean? What will it look like? And what should you buy?

Today, we got a first glance of what Facebook is planning, through the launch of the Horizon Workrooms open beta. Participants using the Oculus Quest virtual reality headset were able to sit together around a virtual conference table. As Alex Heath wrote for the Verge, users can interact with and without headsets, amplifying the immersive experience.

We also got a stock call from TV analyst Jim Cramer. Hopping onto the metaverse bandwagon, Cramer encouraged investors to buy RBLX stock.

Who Needs Tesla AI Day? Buy These 3 Lidar Stocks Instead.

In just a few hours, Elon Musk and his team will be taking the stage at Tesla AI Day, the latest specialty shareholder event from Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). If this event were to happen on any other week, Musk would have a chance to tout some of his up-and-coming projects. This week, shareholders will be putting pressure on Tesla Autopilot and light detection and ranging (lidar).

For context, Tesla AI Day comes just days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) announced a formal probe into its self-driving technology. The probe follows 11 accidents involving Tesla Autopilot. And, just this week, Tesla made the news after yet another vehicle was involved in an accident in England.

Investors may want to bet big on self-driving, but they also do not want to bet big on fatal accidents.

That is why InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Joanna Makris has such a unique — and noteworthy — take. Makris is a Tesla bull, someone who is respectful of Musk and his innovations. However, she also sees that he may be missing the mark with self-driving vehicles in a big way.

Ahead of Tesla AI Day, Makris sees the companies behind lidar as the real winners. If Tesla and other automakers want self-driving cars on the road, they will need to embrace the “geeky” tech that can make that happen safely.

So what is the bottom line? If you are looking for the best way to play Tesla AI Day, check our her top three lidar stocks to buy here.

What Else We’re Watching

  • Sonoma Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SNOA) was a top gainer on Thursday, closing out the day up by more than 50%. This comes as the company released two new dental products, both largely aimed at professionals.
  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), it turns out, is hoping to disrupt another category of retail. According to the Wall Street Journal, the e-commerce giant is planning to roll out physical retail locations that mirror department stores. If anyone can do it, it might as well be Amazon.
  • Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) apparently did not anticipate the heated response to its decision to close its personal lines of credit business. This is evidenced in its decision to reverse that move — allowing some customers to keep their lines of credit.
  • Hot Vax Summer may be coming to an end, but the chip shortage is definitely not. Auto giant Toyota (NYSE:TM) just announced it will cut production back by 40% in September while it grapples with supply-demand imbalances.

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

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2021/08/what-did-the-stock-market-do-today-aug-19-3-big-stories-to-catch-up-on/.

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