Meme Stock Movers: Harley-Davidson, Lucid, Tesla, Upstart

The S&P 500 index closed at a record high on Friday and premarket trading Monday morning indicated a higher opening. Both the Dow Jones industrials and the Nasdaq were glowing green in the premarket session. Apple traded up by more than 1% early Monday, and there’s a chance that investors will chase the price high enough to push the company’s market cap above $3 trillion.

Crude oil traded down at around $71 a barrel and Bitcoin dipped to below $49,000, after breaking through the $50,000 level on Sunday. Yields on 10-year and two-year Treasury notes remained relatively flat, with the 10-year dipping by about two basis points and the two-year rising by less than one basis point.

While not, in any sense, a meme stock, Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) stock traded up more than 11% in Monday’s premarket following an announcement that the company will spin off its electric motorcycle business, dubbed LiveWire, in a SPAC merger that will value the new company at $1.77 billion and generate about $545 million in fresh capital to fund the new company. Harley will retain a stake of about 74% in LiveWire. The merger with AEA-Bridges Impact Corp. (NYSE: IMPX) is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

After a sharp drop last Thursday following an announced SEC investigation, shares of electric vehicle maker Lucid Group Inc. (NASDAQ: LCID) traded up more than 6% in Monday’s premarket, after adding just over 3% on Friday. On Friday, Nasdaq announced that Lucid would be added to its Nasdaq 100 index beginning next Monday, December 20. Five other companies (Airbnb, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler and Datadog) also will join the index. The six firms being dropped are CDW, Fox, Cerner, Check Point, and Incyte.

Upstart Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: UPST) dropped more than 10% on Friday. The stock declined about 7.6% on Thursday following a double-downgrade at BofA from Buy to Underperform. Upstart is pioneering an artificial intelligence (AI) process to determine creditworthiness that it then licenses to lenders looking to reduce their costs of doing business. The share price has nearly quadrupled this year, even including the recent downturn. BofA is wary of the company’s intended focus on auto loans, citing the large number of well-capitalized lenders already making auto loans. Another way of looking at Upstart, however, is that it makes sense to go where the money is. Just saying.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021. In its story announcing the choice, Time wrote:

This is the man who aspires to save our planet and get us a new one to inhabit: clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, cad; a madcap hybrid of Thomas Edison, P.T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie and Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan, the brooding, blue-skinned man-god who invents electric cars and moves to Mars.

The selection didn’t do much for Tesla’s share price, but it will have people chattering about the company and its CEO on Monday.

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