Rising oil prices and 10-year Treasury yields combined with a generally weak employment report led to Friday’s lackluster performance for U.S. equity markets. While Treasury yields were flat Monday morning, West Texas Intermediate crude oil traded up nearly 3.3% at almost $82 a barrel, fueling concerns about consumer spending and rising inflation. Consumer Price Index data is due Wednesday morning, and economists are looking for an increase of 0.3% in September (up 0.2% excluding food and energy). Crude oil prices have risen by around $12 a barrel (nearly 24%) over the past 30 days.
Among meme stocks, oil and gas producer Camber Energy Inc. (NYSEAMERICAN: CEI) has been the most active and the most volatile over the past week or so. The shares soared to $4.85 on September 29 and plunged to $0.86 on October 6. On Friday, the stock closed down nearly 4% at $1.71 on trading volume of more than 964 million shares. The average daily volume last week was 700 million shares, compared to the 30-day average of around 171 million.
Camber stock continues to be among Fintel’s most likely to be targeted by a short squeeze: “In the last two reporting periods, raw short interest has climbed from 3.56M shares to 24.5M shares, a colossal increase of 585% – one of the largest increases this team has seen.” As a percentage of the stock’s total float, nearly 42% of Camber’s shares are short. The annualized fee to borrow Camber stock to sell short is 12.78%. The stock traded up more than 5% in Monday’s premarket.
Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) added 3.5% on Friday on higher than average volume of 33 million shares. The increase was likely due to a halo effect from the $535 million fine imposed on food-delivery company Meituan. Traders and investors were expecting worse. Friday’s boost for Alibaba was its fifth consecutive daily gain, and the stock traded up about 5.5% in Monday’s premarket.
Bitcoin miner Bit Digital Inc. (NASDAQ: BTBT) is Fintel’s third-most likely candidate for a short squeeze this week. Bit Digital’s borrow fee rate remains elevated at 89.87%, and 18.74% of its float is sold short. The company closed an $80 million private placement last week on the sale of about 13.5 million shares and warrants totaling nearly 10.2 million unregistered shares. The sales price was $5.93 for one share and one warrant to purchase an additional three-quarters of a share for $7.91 per whole share ($5.93 for three-quarters of a share). On October 5, the stock closed at $10.35 and on Friday, the stock closed at $11.35, its highest price in a month. Shares traded up more than 5% in Monday’s premarket.
Clover Health Investments Corp. (NASDAQ: CLOV) closed up about 6% on Friday and traded up about 1.2% early Monday at $7.94. Friday’s trading volume of 30.4 million shares was higher than the daily average of around 26.6 million. Clover Health announced Friday that its 2020 PPO Medicare Advantage plan had received a 3.5-star rating from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a half-star improvement over the prior year’s rating.