Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! Fears over a Chinese regulatory crackdown continue today, with Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) CEO Pony Ma losing as much as $14 billion. However, investors are turning their attention elsewhere on Wednesday, such as to the king of all meme stocks. So what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is down 0.43%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.81%
- The Nasdaq Composite is down 0.02%
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Buy HOOD.
Do retail investors like Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD)? It sure looks like it, based on the rapid rally in HOOD stock currently underway.
In fact, regulators have had to halt trading in shares this morning amid an upward surge. After opening Wednesday at $54.45, shares have climbed as high as $77.03. This compares to its initial public offering price of just $38.
But just a few days ago, many in the retail crowd were cheering over a disappointing IPO for Robinhood. Despite all the hype, shares closed below their offering price. Some said the huge volume of newly public companies had created a sense of exhaustion in the market. Others said that regulatory headwinds on Robinhood were too powerful. Still, others said the damage done during the GameStop (NYSE:GME) saga would sink the online brokerage.
Various reports detail the apes on r/WallStreetBets choosing to remain on the sidelines with HOOD stock, and some highlight Redditors rooting for chaos. Writing for the New York Post, Lydia Moynihan speculates that Wall Street and Main Street could collaborate to short-sell HOOD stock in an ultimate campaign.
But today, that narrative is changing. Cathie Wood, the iconic leader of Ark Invest, has continued to flex her support for Robinhood. According to filings from her firm, her funds have now accumulated 5 million shares.
So what is the bottom line? Whether Wood actually sparked a revolution that led retail investors to embrace HOOD as a meme stock, it is clear Robinhood is not disappearing anytime soon.
Emerging Variants Meet Lockdown 2.0 Plays
Yesterday I wrote that popular stock market influencers like Will Meade were turning their attention to a potential second wave of lockdowns in the United States. Along the way, they have been sharing trade ideas for the catalyst dubbed Lockdown 2.0.
Names like Blue Apron (NASDAQ:APRN), a popular meal kit service, and Alpha Pro Tech (NYSEMKT:APT), a maker of face masks and other protective equipment, have been making the rounds on social media. If Americans have to return indoors, meal kits could surge in popularity again. Plus, with companies like Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Target (NYSE:TGT) renewing mask mandates, Alpha Pro Tech could see a sales boost.
So where do things stand? Right now, companies and government officials are grappling with mask and vaccine guidance. President Joe Biden has said he hopes to fully approval Covid-19 vaccines this fall, but that could come even sooner. According to the New York Times, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hopes to fully approve the Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) vaccine by Labor Day. Such a move could trigger further vaccine mandates for hospital workers, students and federal troops.
In the meantime, face mask sales are starting to climb once again and all eyes are on emerging pandemic variants. While the Delta variant, first discovered in India, has been the talk of the town, a few others are generating buzz on Wednesday. The Washington Post reported on the Delta-Plus variant in South Korea, where officials think it may be more transmissible. The Lambda variant is also making the rounds through the U.S.
Keep an eye on Lockdown 2.0 plays. In the battle between widespread vaccinations and emerging variants, wise investors may find at least short-term opportunity in names like APRN and APT.
What Else We’re Watching
- The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that controversial location-broker X-Mode Social will be acquired by Digital Envoy. X-Mode works in partnership with other apps to collect location data. Importantly, it came under fire last year when media outlets highlighted its work brokering location data to U.S. defense contractors. As a result, it was kicked off off app platforms from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL).
- Just days after Square (NYSE:SQ) announced its acquisition of Afterpay (OTCMKTS:AFTPY), Affirm (NASDAQ:AFRM) is getting some buy now, pay later love of its own. Affirm will work with Apple Canada to offer payment installments on iPhones, iPads and Macs.
- Hot Vax Summer may be here, but the chip shortage is far from over. General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced that it will close three truck manufacturing plants in response to the ongoing supply chain issues. GM stock is falling this morning after reporting quarterly earnings.
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.