Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down by 230 points. Investors continue to dissect Jerome Powell’s comments from Monday, signaling that bigger-than-typical interest rate hikes may be necessary to fight red-hot inflation. Furthermore, President Joe Biden is set to depart for Europe today to meet key allies in Brussels and Warsaw, Poland as the U.S. and its allies try to prevent Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from spiraling into an even greater catastrophe. Biden may also announce plans to maintain an increased number of U.S. troops in NATO countries near Ukraine.
Also, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) announced that its two-dose Covid vaccine was about 44% effective at preventing infection from the Omicron variant in children 6 months to under 2 years old. None of the kids developed severe illness and the majority of breakthrough cases were mild. General Mills (NYSE: GIS) is up by over 3% today after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings and also raising its full-year outlook. The food maker posted an adjusted earnings per share of $0.84 for the quarter.
Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are down by 0.69% today while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also down by 1.69%. Meanwhile, Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are trading lower on Wednesday. Among the Dow financial leaders, Visa (NYSE: V) is down by 1.10% while Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is also down by 0.90%.
Shares of EV leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are up by 0.13% on Wednesday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) are also down by 0.60%. Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) is down by 1.25% today. Chinese EV leaders like Nio (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) opened lower today.
Dow Jones Today: Department of Transportation Reveals $2.9 Billion in Grants.
Following the stock market opening on Wednesday, the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq are trading lower at 0.72%, 0.69%, and 0.91% respectively. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) is down by 1.02% while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) is also down by 0.69%.
The 10-year Treasury yield continues to climb to multi-year highs at 2.34%. Today, Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says that the administration will be giving out $2.9 billion in grants for both state and local infrastructure projects such as highway, bridge, freight, and public transit expansions and repairs. The money is actually part of the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law a few months back. Industrial companies like Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) and Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) are trading mix when news on the grants broke.
[Read More] Top Stock Market News For Today March 23, 2022
Meme Stocks Surge As Retail Investors Stage Rebound
In terms of the top gainers in the stock market today, GameStop (NYSE: GME) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC) seem to be front and center. Evidently, GME stock and AMC stock are currently gaining by over 10% and 5% respectively. Because of all this, investors may be wondering if the meme stock trading frenzy is back in play now. By and large, this would be understandable seeing as both GME stock and AMC stock are among the heavy hitters in the meme stock category.
For one thing, the heights seen during last year’s meme stock craze could be attractive to many now. Namely, this would be the case as markets face increasing pressure across the board. This is apparent as the Ukraine-Russia war impacts global commodity supplies while inflation runs rampant on the domestic front. All of which have and continue to weigh in on trade at the macroeconomic level. For investors looking to minimize exposure to all this, meme stocks could be a go-to now.
After all, social media hype is among the main contributors to the sector’s growth. Earlier this week on Tuesday, mentions of GME stock on the WallStreetBets Reddit page soared. To put things into perspective, current measures record up to 400 mentions of the company’s shares on the forum. This is more than double the 115 mentions from the previous day. In fact, even board members appear to be getting in on the action. Just yesterday, GameStop chairman Ryan Cohen bought up 100,000 more shares of the company. This comes at a time when the activist investor is actively pushing for GameStop to focus on its e-commerce offerings. With all this in mind, GME stock alongside its meme stock peers would be in focus today.
Marijuana Stocks Gaining Traction Following Notable Acquisitions
At the same time, marijuana stocks are also seeing a similar uptick in activity in the stock market now. As of today’s opening bell, Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY), Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC), and Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ: ACB) are on the rise. Respectively, these companies’ shares are trading higher by about 10%, 6%, and 9%. In the larger scheme of things, the current movement across U.S. listed marijuana firms seems to stem from notable M&A announcements.
Firstly, Aurora Cannabis is also acquiring Thrive Cannabis parent company TerraFarma for about $30.16 billion. Via the cash and stock plus incentives deal, Aurora is getting access to Thrive’s award-winning adult-use brand, Greybeard Cannabis. The likes of which offer premium quality, small-batch craft cannabis concentrates and flower products.
Furthermore, Cresco Labs is now acquiring Columbia Care, a prominent provider of cannabis products in the U.S. and E.U. Through the $2 billion deal, Cresco would be getting access to Columbia Care’s 99 dispensaries and 32 manufacturing plants. Should the deal go smoothly, Cresco would become one of the largest cannabis producers in the U.S. Commenting on all this is Cresco’s CEO Charlie Bachtell. He highlights, “It’s a unique opportunity to create industry leadership; it’s a very important time with some sort of federal regulatory reform, we think, on the horizon.” With all this activity among marijuana firms now, I could understand if investors are eyeing the industry.