U.S. equities markets closed higher Monday, and all three major indexes posted gains of at least 1%. All 11 sectors closed in the green, with consumer staples and industrials leading the way. Investors have focused on reports that the Omicron variant may be more transmissible but that it also results in less severe cases of COVID-19. Coupled with oral medications currently in trials that suggest reductions in hospitalizations and deaths, there could be an effective and safe treatment just ahead. It’s still early days though.
Crude oil reached a two-week high at around $71.50 a barrel early Tuesday, and Bitcoin had climbed back to near $51,000. Yields on 10-year Treasury notes had risen by about 11 basis points to 1.45% as investors turn to riskier investments. All three indexes were up by at least 1% in Tuesday’s premarket trading.
Meme stocks, too, joined Monday’s party with advancers leading decliners by a margin of more than three to one. Among the leading gainers were bitcoin miners. Tied as they are to the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it’s no surprise that higher prices for the “commodity” mean higher prices for the miners. The reverse is also true.
Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: GREE) added nearly 12% to its share price on Monday and traded up more than 3.5% in Tuesday’s premarket session. The company had no specific news. Trading volume was light, however, with just over 800,000 shares traded, compared to the daily average of more than 3 million.
One of Monday’s poorer performers was electric vehicle maker Lucid Group Inc. (NASDAQ: LCID). Shares dropped more than 5% following the announcement it had received a subpoena on Friday from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to the company’s SPAC merger with Churchill Capital Corp. IV. It didn’t help that Monday also marked the end of the quiet period for rival Rivian and analysts are solidly behind the electric pickup truck maker. The stock traded up by about 3.8% in Tuesday’s premarket.
Shares of Ocugen Inc. (NASDAQ: OCGN) fell more than 6% on Monday and the drop is likely tied to the upbeat mood generated by the early estimates of the damage to the economy from the Omicron variant. If Omicron does indeed spread faster while causing less severe infections, that could be good news for public health. It would, however, not be especially good news for vaccine makers like Ocugen, which has filed for, but not yet received, regulatory approval in either the United States or Canada of its Covaxin vaccine. Shares traded up more than 1% early Tuesday.
Shares of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) sagged early Monday following the revelation of a complaint against the company’s solar panel business. The stock recovered most of the initial decline to close down by less than 1%. The stock traded up more than 3% in Tuesday’s premarket.
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