The S&P 500 added 0.8% on Thursday, the smallest gain of the three major U.S. market indexes. An agreement to kick the debt-ceiling can down the road soothed some worries. Sectors performing best on Thursday were consumer discretionary (up 1.5%) and materials (up 1.4%). The utilities sector was the only one to close down on the day (0.5%).
Friday’s premarket trading was essentially flat as traders waited for the employment situation report. When it arrived, investors were disappointed. Nonfarm payrolls increased by just 194,000 jobs, compared to an estimate for 454,000 new jobs. The headline unemployment rate dropped from 5.1% to 4.8%. After an initial dip, the major indexes fought back to trade essentially flat again.
Thursday’s biggest move was a near-doubling of Camber Energy Inc.’s (NYSEAMERICAN: CEI) share price. The stock closed up 96% at $1.78 on volume of 925 million shares traded. Camber’s share price was hammered earlier in the week following a short seller report. Shares remain well below their closing price of $3.09 before that report was issued. Premarket trading Friday had the shares up another 28%.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) added 7.5% to its share price on Thursday, a decent move, after dropping by more than a third in the month of September. The stock is down more than 12% for the year to date and down 70% from its high in late January. A poor earnings report late last month cost the stock a one-day drop of more than 20% and led to a number of downgrades. About 48% of the company’s stock is sold short, a very high percentage, and an almost irresistible target for meme stock investors. Bed Bath & Beyond traded up less than 1% early Friday.
China-based electric vehicle maker Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO) closed up nearly 7% on Thursday following a rating upgrade from Neutral to Buy with a price target of $56 at Goldman Sachs. The premium EV carmaker’s ET7 model was cited as the major reason for the upgrade. Sachs analyst Fei Fang forecasts a 65% upside from the stock’s current price. Shares traded up less than 1% in Friday’s premarket session.
Cannabis producer Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL) got a small lift Thursday, closing up more than 2%. Shares traded up about 16.5% Friday morning, after the company announced the previous night that it is acquiring Canadian liquor retailer Alcanna for about $346 million in an all-stock transaction. Alcanna operates 171 stores in Canada, primarily in Alberta. Sundial CEO Zach George said he believes that Sundial can replicate Alcanna’s value-focused business model to drive better results for the pot producer.