Good morning and welcome to the stock market! Ahead of the Friday jobs report, investors have eagerly been diving into economic data. But beyond looking at numbers, what else will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is up 0.39%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.36%
- The Nasdaq Composite is up 0.51%
So what will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Buy Now.
One of the biggest stories in the stock market today is that Square (NYSE:SQ) will spend $29 billion to acquire Afterpay (OTCMKTS:AFTPY). According to executives, this hefty deal will bring two fintech leaders together to create value.
For those unfamiliar, Afterpay is an Australian firm at the heart of the buy now, pay later craze. Marrying itself with the world of e-commerce, BNPL allows consumers to simply purchase the products that entice them. Companies like Afterpay collect fees from retailers, and offer shoppers interest-free payment installments. The simple logic is that a cash-strapped shopper may stomach four payments of $25 spread out over several weeks. One payment of $100 may be a turn off.
So what is the takeaway for investors? Square has already emerged as a fintech leader with its increasingly popular Cash App platform. Linking mobile payments to buy now, pay later seems like a winning combination. However, not everyone is convinced. Specifically, the high price tag for Afterpay has turned some off, or at the very least, prompted some on-the-money jokes.
Crazy that Square is buying Afterpay for $29bn when they could do it in four easy zero-APR payments if $7.25bn apiece.
— Byrne Hobart (@ByrneHobart) August 1, 2021
Considering this, Affirm and AFRM stock have been gaining on Monday. Trading nearly 60% off its 52-week highs, many investors see AFRM as a good value in a red-hot space.
Nio Stock Is Facing Peer Pressure
Chinese electric vehicle makers like Nio (NYSE:NIO), Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) and Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) have been having a tough time. These companies represent some of the hottest names, and they have continued to grow their businesses and set new production records. However, the landscape for EV stocks, and specifically Chinese EV stocks, has been tricky.
As we wrote last week, the Chinese government has been cracking down on some of its top firms. One area of concern for regulators has been domestic companies that list on U.S. exchanges, putting this trio in the spotlight. Plus, a general sense of unease for Chinese tech firms has extended to Nio and its peers.
But by the end of the week, investor sentiment was shifting. It seems the stock market was ready to at least temporarily forget regulatory woes in favor of a nice rally. That is continuing this week, with all three companies posting favorable delivery figures for July 2021.
As InvestorPlace contributor Robert Lakin wrote this morning, Xpeng delivered 8,040 vehicles, a monthly record for the company that represents 228% year-over-year growth. Li Auto delivered 8,589 vehicles, a personal record. Nio, typically the leader of the trio, delivered 7,931 models in July.
So what is the takeaway? Nio still posted impressive year-over-year growth, but according to one analyst, its monthly slump is thanks to Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). With price cuts to the Model Y, the Nio ES6 and EC6 face a steeper competitive landscape. That is certainly something to consider with Li and Xpeng pulling ahead.
What Else We’re Watching
- The new era of the space race continues, and this time Boeing (NYSE:BA) is in the spotlight. Tomorrow, the company hopes to launch its Starliner capsule in an uncrewed test flight with NASA. If successful, it could pave the way for Boeing to regularly send astronauts into orbit like SpaceX.
- Ride-hailing startup Revel made its official launch in New York City today, bringing with it an electric fleet of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model Y vehicles. Beyond offering a luxurious alternative to taxis, Revel is positioning itself as a challenger to the models of Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT). Drivers will all be employees, and Revel takes on the burden of owning the fleet.
- Delta variant talk is still swirling, and this time the pressure is on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the Wall Street Journal, employers and educators hope full approval for the Covid-19 vaccines will make mandates easier to swallow. However, emergency-use authorizations are not stopping a growing list of companies. Over the weekend, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) announced vaccine mandates for their employees.
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.