Stock Market Futures Edged Up Ahead Of Consumer Spending & Jobless Data

Stock market futures are edging higher on Thursday morning. Accordingly, this could be thanks to investors buying into the weakness in shares stemming from an Omicron-related sell-off. Additionally, the slew of positive economic data points released yesterday helped ease investor concerns as well. Among said figures were upbeat consumer confidence metrics and an upwardly revised estimate for domestic GDP.

Commenting on the current strength in the stock market is Anik Sen, PineBridge Investments’ global head of equities. Sen argues, “We’ve been saying that this is definitely a buy the dip sort of market because we expect more earnings upgrades to come.” He also notes, “We think that the real debate should be about the length and strength of the economic cycle ahead.

Despite the holiday-shortened week for stocks, investors have yet another day full of economic data to consider. Namely, we have personal income, consumer spending, initial jobless claims, and other inflation readings on tap today. If that wasn’t enough, there is no shortage of stock market news to consider as well. As of 7:27 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.33%, 0.30%, and 0.19% respectively.

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TSLA Stock Still In Focus As Elon Musk Sells Additional $928 Million Shares; Clarifies Earlier Statements

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is seeing increased trading activity this week thanks to a slew of updates surrounding CEO Elon Musk. In essence, this is mostly thanks to Musk’s recent stock selling spree which is part of his plan to sell 10% of his shares in the company. As you can imagine, with the Tesla CEO looking to trim his position in the firm, TSLA stock mostly declined over the past month. However, after the company’s shares climbed by over 7% during intraday trading yesterday thanks to comments from Musk. He noted that he had “sold enough” stock to meet his current goals. 

To highlight, Musk sold an additional $928.6 million of TSLA stock yesterday. In detail, he clarified his selling of the 934,091 shares yesterday by saying, “I sold stock that should roughly make my total Tesla share sale roughly 10%.” Furthermore, Musk also noted via social media that more pre-planned sales are incoming. Overall, the latest sale brings Musk’s total to 14.7 million shares sold. The likes of which add up to about $15.4 billion. For investors looking to jump on TSLA stock, the current excitement around the company could present buying opportunities.

While all this is happening, Tesla remains hard at work on the operational front as well. Notably, Tesla is now set to take the majority of battery-ready graphite from an upcoming production facility in Louisiana. Syrah, the Melbourne-based firm behind the facility, will be supplying Tesla with graphite anode material for an initial four-year period. With graphite being a key material in electric vehicle batteries, this is a major win by Tesla.

Elsewhere, vaccine companies continue to make progress in the fight against the increasingly prevalent Omicron Covid variant. As of yesterday, Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) is one such name doing so now. Namely, the company revealed initial data from trials of its primary vaccine candidate against the variant of concern. According to Novavax, a booster shot of it resulted in “anti-spike antibody levels against Omicron” increasing by 73.5-fold. The company notes that these results serve to highlight the need for booster shots. Safe to say, we could be looking at busy times ahead for Novavax. This would be apparent as CEO Stanley Erckrecently revealed short-term plans to file with the FDA.

At the same time, a new study from Denmark is also putting mRNA-based Covid vaccines in the limelight now. According to researchers at Statens Serum Institut, mRNA vaccines “significantly increase protection” against the Omicron variant. This would apply to vaccines developed by the likes of Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE). All in all, these updates come at a crucial time as the Omicron variant is now the most prominent Covid variant in the U.S.

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DWAC Stock Gains As Trump Reveals Plans To Launch Social Media Platform In Q1 2022.

In other news, the Donald Trump-linked SPAC Digital World Acquisition (NASDAQ: DWAC) popped by 4% during intraday trading yesterday. The slight jump in the company’s shares is likely thanks to the former president’s interview with Fox News. Chiefly, Trump mentioned that his social media company Trump Media & Technology should be running in Q1 2022. Moreover, his social media platform TRUTH Social is also looking towards a national rollout at the same time.

For the most part, this would provide investors with a possible timeline regarding the company’s plans. This alongside news of the company’s newly appointed CEO, the ongoing SPAC merger, and a $1 billion PIPE deal would leave investors with plenty of news to consider. Nevertheless, time will tell if DWAC stock can make the most of the current hype in the coming quarter.

AMC To Open Chicago and Los Angeles Theaters After Reaching Lease Agreements; Rides Strength From Spider-Man Movie Release

AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC), a mainstay in the meme stock trade, is also making plays in the stock market today. Despite recent declines, AMC stock is still holding on to immense gains of over 1,300% year-to-date. Retail investor antics aside, the company is currently in a unique position, to say the least. With more vaccinated moviegoers filling cinemas over the past quarter, some would argue that AMC is on the recovery. Helping these efforts would be the recent release of Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) and Sony’s (NYSE: SONY) blockbuster film, Spider-Man: No Way Home.

To point out, the company reportedly hit a market cap of $2.4 billion last Friday when the movie launched. According to AMC, approximately 1.1 million people attended the opening at one U.S. AMC theater on Thursday. Throughout the opening weekend, the movie raked in $253 million in box office sales in North America, according to Variety. Adding to this, AMC is also expanding its portfolio of cinemas now. As of yesterday, the company is set to open 2 new locations in Los Angeles and Chicago after reaching lease agreements. This now brings the total number of locations AMC has acquired from fellow theater chains Pacific and Arclight in 2021. Given all of this, some would argue that AMC stock has more room to grow moving forward.

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