U.S. markets closed lower on Tuesday, breaking an eight-day streak of higher finishes. Wednesday’s premarket trading was picking up where the prior day’s ended. The three major indexes were indicated lower, with the Nasdaq down nearly 0.5%, the biggest drop. The report on new claims for jobless benefits came in at 267,000, as expected. Crude oil traded down about 0.6% to $83.65, and Bitcoin traded down about 2% to $66,419. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was up by about three basis points to 1.472%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Consumer Price Index (CPI) data Wednesday morning. Month over month, the index rose by 09%, well above the consensus estimate of $0.5%. On a year-over-year basis, CPI rose by 6.2%, also above the estimate of 5.8%. Excluding food and energy, the month-over-month increase was 0.6% (estimate of 0.4%) and the year-over-year increase was 4.6% (estimate of 4.3%). Thursday is a federal holiday but markets are open.
Meme stocks closed lower as well on Tuesday by a margin of about four to one. One exception was Altimeter Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: AGC), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that expects to combine with India’s largest food delivery service, Grab, by the end of the year. The company had no specific news as trading volume approached 45 million shares, compared to a daily average of about 2.7 million. Mentions on WallStreetBets soared by 2,800%, about evenly divided between boosters and deniers. Altimeter Growth added about 27% to its share price on Tuesday and traded down about 2% in Wednesday’s premarket.
Tuesday’s big loser was SmileDirectClub Inc. (NASDAQ: SDC), which traded down more than 20% for the day. Shares were unchanged in Wednesday’s premarket. The company missed on both profits and revenues when it reported quarterly results late Monday. Every price target change announced Tuesday was lower, with Goldman Sachs reducing its target to $2 and reiterating its Sell rating. The stock recently traded at $4.15.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) dropped more than 11% on Tuesday and traded down about 1.6% in Wednesday’s premarket at $39.34. AMC beat both top-line and bottom-line estimates when it reported earnings late Monday, but the company’s reliance on retail investors does not inspire confidence among some analysts. Wedbush, for example, dropped the stock’s rating from Neutral to Underperform last week while maintaining a price target of $7.15.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) lost 12% on Wednesday (about $23 billion market cap) and traded down about 1% early Wednesday at around $1,011.00 a share. CEO Elon Musk’s stated intention to sell 10% of his shares (about 2% of Tesla’s total float) appears to be related to taxes, not the company’s valuation, according to Future Fund’s Gary Black (@garyblack00):
By exercising now, the tax basis of [Musk’s] options gets stepped up to today’s price, at which Elon’s ordinary rate of 53% stops accruing, and the lower cap gains rate of 23.8% kicks in. If Elon believes $TSLA will be $1,800 by next Aug, he saves $5 BILLION in taxes.