Today’s stock market activity was subdued ahead of this week’s inflation data. Stocks didn’t move the meter with the three major indices finishing the day mixed.
The S&P 500 ended fractionally higher after it failed to regain enough traction to set another all-time high like it did in May. The Nasdaq also eked out some gains while the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day slightly in the red despite modest gains in Boeing stock as orders bounce back.
The economy is roaring back, as evidenced by job openings that have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels. The number of available jobs in the U.S. rose to 9.3 million in April, representing the strongest showing since the turn of the century and compared to 8.3 million in the prior month, as per the Labor Department’s latest data. There are currently about 9.8 million Americans looking for work.
Market performance is surprisingly hinting at no signs of inflation rearing its head ahead of Thursday’s closely watched CPI report for May. Tech and growth-oriented stocks alike advanced while Treasury yields fell, suggesting that inflation is in check and the Fed will find no reason to rush any interest rate hikes. Meanwhile, oil prices are finding a reason to rise.
Meme Stock Mania
Meme stocks have been steering trading and today didn’t disappoint.
- Healthcare startup Clover Health came close to doubling, gaining 85% on the day on trading volume of 725 million. The average volume on Clover stock is 24 million.
- Hamburger chain Wendy’s also muscled its way into the meme stock dynamic, gaining 25% on the day. Short interest in WEN is arguably low, however, so time will tell if it the WallStreetBets crowd will stick around in this name.
- Fellow restaurant stock (though it’s not a meme stock) Chipotle saw green in response to a 4% hike in menu prices to offset higher wages the company is paying its workers.
GameStop, the meme stock that started it all, reports Q1 earnings on Wednesday after the market closes. The stock’s 1,300%-plus price surge YTD is sure to be a highlight. Wall Street is expecting the gaming company to report a near 15% jump in sales YoY to USD 1.17 billion. They are also expecting the company to narrow its loss from USD 98.8 million to USD 67 million or from a loss of USD 1.61 per share to a loss of USD 0.71 per share.
All eyes are on the commodities market after WTI oil futures ended the day above USD 70 per barrel, a feat it hasn’t achieved in more than two years. Brent crude futures closed above USD 72. The momentum suggests that oil has managed to steer clear of market pressure hitting its commodity peers.