Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! Investors are starting this week with a sense of uneasiness, taking equities down from record levels. As Wall Street watches Afghanistan and the delta variant of Covid-19, what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is down 0.54%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.36%
- The Nasdaq Composite is down 1.24%
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Talk Tension.
Right now, the world is watching Afghanistan and wondering what comes next. Over the weekend, the Taliban seized control of the presidential palace in Kabul, and chaos has unfolded at the airport as Afghans and foreign nationals try to evacuate. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley has also sped up projections for terror threats in Afghanistan.
For investors, the immediate focus has to be on the human impacts. What will happen to individuals trying to evacuate? And what is the future of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan? Some lawmakers have already called on President Joe Biden to send troops back.
But the natural reaction on Wall Street, for better or for worse, is to wonder what comes next for the market. Right now, the uncertainty and heightening geopolitical tensions are weighing on the major indices. Analysts are saying they are not sure what to expect in the long term.
As Mark DeCambre highlights for MarketWatch, there really is nothing conclusive to say about the long term right now. Since the fall of 2001, investors have pushed defense stocks to outperform, but the S&P 500 is also up 300%. He suggests that defense companies like Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) could be ones to watch. However, he is quick to point out that the market could react in a “counterintuitive” way.
In other words, investors are looking for a bottom line that may not exist yet. Expect this ongoing uncertainty to be a presence in the market — and the broader world — for the foreseeable future.
Walmart, Elon Musk and $2 Trillion
Despite some tough odds, Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) is on the path to recovery. After dipping beneath $30,000 earlier in the summer, the leading cryptocurrency touched as high as $48,000 over the weekend. This comes after Elon Musk fueled environmental criticisms of Bitcoin mining, Chinese regulators cracked down on the industry and U.S. lawmakers proposed new rules. Plus, lawmakers just passed a massive infrastructure bill in the Senate without including crypto-friendly amendments.
But that is not shaking Bitcoin bulls. In fact, despite the infrastructure blow, some see the latest discussions as a sign the government has to take cryptocurrency seriously. There is some logic to this thinking — heated debates over a crypto tax clause took up an entire weekend.
With this backdrop, Bitcoin prices have been steadily climbing, ushering in a resurgence of bullish price predictions. This has also helped strengthen the broader crypto market, which typically moves in tandem with BTC. Monday morning saw cryptocurrencies as a whole touch a crypto market capitalization above $2 trillion for the first time since mid-May.
So where do things go from here? Not everyone thinks BTC is about to return to its all-time highs right away, but $55,000 could be in store. It seems that even top fans expect the No. 1 crypto to hit some resistance on its return to dominance.
However, this return to dominance is getting a helping hand from institutional players. William Suberg wrote for Cointelegraph that institutional investors are coming back in a big way… and they have been buying throughout the downturn. This is shown in that the amount of Bitcoin available on derivatives exchanges has dropped again as buyers gobble up BTC.
More news today is also evidence of this. Walmart (NYSE:WMT) announced it is recruiting for a crypto product lead, someone to lead its digital currency strategy. And we all know that big retailers (and influencers) flexing their support for crypto is a powerful catalyst.
What Else We’re Watching
- On Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it was launching a formal safety probe into Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) over its Autopilot system. Since 2018, the NHTSA says that it has identified 11 crashes involving the driver assistance program. This news comes just days ahead of its Tesla AI Day, where experts think Tesla will focus on its self-driving goals.
- Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD) is off to the races… and perhaps off to hit $1. The meme cryptocurrency has been rallying since Elon Musk and Mark Cuban agreed on its potential. Over the weekend, the billionaires said it was a strong medium of exchange.
- Analysts at UBS have a clear message for investors in gold: “Get out.” According to the firm, along with the economic reopening, gold prices are going to continue to fall. This reality could bring per-ounce prices of $1,600 for gold and just $22 for silver.
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