Stock Market Futures Falter After Hawkish Remarks From Federal Reserve
U.S. stock futures are edging lower at the mid-week point in the current trading week. This seems to be the case even after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell provided greater insight into the Fed’s economic strategy moving forward. To begin with, Powell said, “The labor market is very strong, and inflation is much too high.” He also notes that if “it is appropriate to move more aggressively by raising the federal funds rate by more than 25 basis points at a meeting or meetings,” the central bank will do so.
Commenting on the current state of things is Jim Paulsen, the chief investment strategist over at the Leuthold Group. He explains, “Investor attitudes are being bolstered by the fact that the stock market seems little concerned about bond yields surging higher or a Federal Reserve which is getting more hawkish by the day.” While all this is going on, we have meme stocks and a ton of automotive industry developments in the news today. As of 4:39 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.14%, 0.17%, and 0.23% respectively.
Meme Stocks See Rebound As Retail Investors React To Market Volatility
With all that is going on in the stock market today, meme stocks seem to be making a comeback. Overall, this is apparent as GameStop (NYSE: GME) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC) are among the top gainers from yesterday. As these two firms are among the biggest names in the meme stock trade, most would be wondering if another frenzy could be inbound. In brief, GME stock rallied by as much as 30% yesterday without any particular catalyst. At the same time, AMC stock advanced by over 16%.
Now, it is important to note that all this would be reminiscent of the meme stock craze seen early last year. Accordingly, meme stocks are often fueled by social media hype instead of conventional growth catalysts. Upon closer inspection, mentions of GME stock on the WallStreetBets social media page did tick higher yesterday. For reference, there were over 400 instances of this, up from 115 mentions the previous day.
Across the board, some would argue that retail investors turning to meme stocks is not that surprising. After all, the stock market is currently dealing with several headwinds at once. From ongoing global commodity shortages, supply chain issues, and inflation, the list goes on. For the more adventurous investors, meme stocks could prove to be a more exciting play in the stock market now.
Nvidia To Collaborate With Lucid and BYD In Development Of Autonomous Driving Platform; Reveals New Tech During GTC Conference
In other news, semiconductor giant Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) is making headlines thanks to a series of announcements. Diving in, the company is currently hosting its GPU Technology Conference (GTC). Through GTC, Nvidia usually reveals its latest work and newest offerings. Among the notable announcements from yesterday would be regarding Nvidia’s work on a self-driving car tech platform, Drive Hyperion 9. More importantly, the company is also working with electric vehicle (EV) makers Lucid Motors (NASDAQ: LCID) and BYD on this.
Accordingly, Nvidia now believes that its automotive business could have a revenue pipeline of up to $11 billion through 2028. Not forgetting, the company is also planning to launch its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Drive service to all Jaguar Land Rovers in 2025. Speaking on the company’s work in the autonomous vehicle (AV) field is CEO Jensen Huang. He argues, “Future cars will be fully programmable, evolving from many embedded controllers to powerful centralized computers — with AI and AV functionalities delivered through software updates and enhanced over the life of the car.” Huang also adds that Nvidia’s Drive software continues to be a go-to for companies looking to bolster their AV and AI engine capabilities.
By Nvidia’s current estimates, the Drive Hyperion 9 platform is set to hit the roads by 2026. In essence, the platform is a core system for any potential self-driving tech. It consists of numerous sensors that help the car visualize its surroundings. As Nvidia looks to expand its work in the automotive space, NVDA stock could be worth noting.
Toyota And ChargePoint Team Up To Provide Customers Public And Home EV Charging Services
Elsewhere in the EV market, the likes of Toyota (NYSE: TM) and ChargePoint (NYSE: CHPT) are now working together. As of yesterday, the duo are officially teaming up to provide comprehensive EV charging solutions to customers. The likes of which will span home and public infrastructure. For one thing, this would serve to bolster the upcoming launch of Toyota’s 2023 bZ4X battery-electric SUV later this year. Notably, this would be a strategic play by Toyota as concerns over having a proper network of EV charging ports nationwide remain amongst some EV enthusiasts.
Speaking on this is Christopher Yang, the VP of EV Charging Solutions at Toyota. Yang says, “We want to instill a feeling of confidence in our bZ4X customers by providing a variety of charging options both at home and away to serve each customer’s unique charging needs and preferences.” Through the current collaboration, Toyota customers can now purchase a ChargePoint Home Flex Level 2 charger directly from participating dealerships.
The charger is Wi-Fi enabled, is installable in both indoor and outdoor settings, and comes with a 23-foot charging cable. Furthermore, ChargePoint also notes that it charges EVs up to nine times faster than standard outlets. By the company’s estimates, customers can get up to 25 miles of range per hour of charging. Regarding ChargePoint’s public network, future bZ4X drivers can access over 80% of charging stations in North America. All in all, the combination of Toyota’s top-quality mobility solutions and ChargePoint’s highly accessible charging services could make for an attractive package to EV owners.
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Tesla Celebrates Official Launch Of Gigafactory Berlin Plant
Another piece of news on the EV front today is from Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA). Yes, even the leading name in the game is not slowing down its operations now. Just yesterday, CEO Elon Musk officially cut the red ribbon to Tesla’s new Giga Berlin facility. In detail, the plant is just outside of Germany in a coal town called Grünheide and serves to relieve the production pressure from the company’s U.S. and China operations. As it stands, Tesla is currently expecting the factory to churn out up to 500,000 vehicles annually.
Safe to say, the launch of Giga Berlin is a major step forward for Tesla. So much so that Musk was seen dancing after handing over the keys to Tesla’s first German-made cars to clients at the opening. He posits that this marks “another step in the direction of a sustainable future.” In the larger scheme of things, this bump in production capability is rather timely for Tesla. As oil prices continue to rise worldwide, more consumers would be turning towards EVs as well. With all this in mind, I could see investors keeping an eye on TSLA stock later today.