Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! Earnings season is truly underway, with fresh reports today from Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), Under Armour (NYSE:UA), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and several others. But beyond diving into profit and revenue, what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is down 0.06%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.09%
- The Nasdaq Composite is down 0.48%
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Talk China.
Chinese regulators once again have U.S. investors buckled up and ready for a day of market volatility. This time, everything stems from a report in a state media outlet. As Reuters reported, a writer referred to the internet gaming associated with tech giants like Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) as a form of “spiritual opium.” Investors were quick to pick up on the historical ties, and Reuters says the outlet since removed that reference.
Over-the-counter shares of TCEHY stock are in the red so far on Tuesday, representing concerns over the resurgence of regulatory threats. Previously, Chinese officials promised to investigate the overseas listings of domestic companies. This pressured a wide swath of names, from Nio (NYSE:NIO) to Luckin Coffee (OTCMKTS:LKNCY). Officials also promised to tighten restrictions on data flows and security.
Tech giants like Tencent and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) have been some of the hardest-hit, as they are not new to these regulatory hurdles. Tencent has previously faced antitrust action, and Alibaba was dealt a major blow with the shelving of its Ant Group IPO. Today, investors learned that Ant saw profits slide dip 37% in the past quarter.
So what else do you know? And where do things go from here?
Investors should note that the latest steps in the crackdown appear to build on concerns that children spend too much time on their devices. Bloomberg cites one report of a student playing Tencent’s Honor of Kings game for eight consecutive hours. In 2019, Chinese officials prohibited students from playing online games during certain hours and set caps during the week.
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And while some investors are certainly shaken, not everyone is ready to give up on Chinese stocks. Some even see the latest regulatory woes as creating a discounted buying opportunity in names like TCEHY.
Zoom Calls vs. Conference Rooms
Bye bye, business travel.
We all know that, despite concerns over the Delta variant, Hot Vax Summer is here and Americans are more than ready to participate. The latest throughput data from the Transportation Security Administration are close to matching 2019 figures. People are traveling for weddings, family reunions and luxurious trips to the beach.
But as Erica Pandey wrote for Axios this morning, people are not traveling for work, at least not at comparable levels. As many as 76% of firms say they are looking to turn travel-based meetings into virtual ones, even in a reopening world. Why? Virtual meetings are more sustainable, and they cost companies a lot less money. Plus, budgeting time around cross-country or international travel also cuts into worker productivity.
While this should not be entirely surprising given the Covid-19 renaissance of Zoom Video (NASDAQ:ZM), it has implications for the travel industry. Folks betting on a back-to-normal business world could lose money on those wagers.
That is because, as Pandey summarizes, business travelers account for 10% of total airline passengers. However, they account for 55%-75% of revenue thanks to their premium seats. The same logic likely holds for hotels, where business travelers are more likely to want upgraded rooms and last-minute reservations.
What Else We’re Watching
- Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP) is saying goodbye to 11 discount beer brands in favor of more premier labels. According to the beverage specialist, that is just simply where consumers are headed, and they are going there to stay. Beyond premier beers, Molson Coors plans to focus on hard seltzers and CBD-infused drinks.
- DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) is also getting the upscale alcohol message. As the United States reopens, the sports betting specialist is partnering with Sports & Social to open fancy sports bars. The first locations will open in Nashville and Detroit.
- After delaying its initial public offering due to U.S.-China trade war concerns, Biel Crystal has filed to trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. For those unfamiliar, Biel is one of the largest screenmakers for smartphone companies including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
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.