U.S. markets are poised for results of the FOMC meeting that concludes Wednesday. Consensus estimates indicate no change in the federal funds rate (currently 0% to 0.25%), a drop in monthly Treasury purchases from $70 billion to $55 billion and a decline in monthly purchases of mortgage-backed securities from $35 billion to $27.5 billion. All three major indexes traded flat in Wednesday’s premarket.
Crude oil dropped below $70 a barrel in the morning, and Bitcoin traded at around $47,700, down about 1.2%. Yields on both 10-year and two-year Treasury notes were down slightly and the spread was up a smidgen at 0.78%.
COVID-19 vaccine maker Ocugen Inc. (NASDAQ: OCGN) announced Wednesday morning that its Covaxin candidate “generated a robust immune memory against spike and nucleoprotein that was comparable to that following natural COVID-19 infection for the levels of antibodies, memory B cells, and memory CD4+ T cells.” The results were reported in a third-party study. The company also said it is currently evaluating Covaxin against the Omicron variant and plans to share the results as soon as they become available. The shares traded up nearly 6% in Wednesday’s premarket session.
East Stone Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: ESSC) dropped more than 26% on Tuesday on no news. The SPAC announced a combination in February with a merchant e-commerce platform and has twice extended its deadline to complete an acquisition. The second, and last, of the extensions expired on November 24. Trading volume reached nearly 22 million shares Tuesday, compared to a daily average of just 607,000. The stock traded up almost 9% in Wednesday’s premarket.
Shares of e-commerce platform provider ContextLogic Inc. (NASDAQ: WISH) dropped almost 6.5% on Tuesday, and chatter about the stock almost doubled. One WallStreetBets wag suggested that the ticker should be changed from WISH to DOWN. The stock has lost about 90% of its value over the past year, so the suggestion is not altogether unfair. The stock traded flat Wednesday morning.
And what’s a day without something from Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA). The stock traded down less than 1% on Tuesday and was down by less than half a percentage point in Wednesday’s premarket. The news from the company is essentially all Musk-related. First, the Financial Times has named CEO Elon Musk its Person of the Year. In its story about Musk, the paper comments:
Over those years, Musk has not only had to build a market for electric vehicles almost single-handedly while fighting off bankruptcy, he has also waged a running battle with short sellers on Wall Street and started spats with regulators.
To mark the occasion, Musk started a spat with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Actually, Senator Warren may have started it with this tweet:
Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else. https://t.co/jqQxL9Run6
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 13, 2021
It did not take Musk long to reply:
Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen 🙏
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 14, 2021