Monday’s premarket trading was deepening the downturn that U.S. stocks took on Friday. All three major indexes traded down by more than 1% following Omicron-related restrictions being imposed in some European countries and on the announcement from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin that he will not vote for President Biden’s Build Back Better package. Goldman Sachs analysts cut their GDP growth forecast for the first quarter of 2022 from 3.0% to 2.0% and its second-quarter forecast from 3.5% to 3.0%.
Crude oil traded at less than $68 a barrel in Monday’s premarket, down more than 4% from Friday’s settlement. Bitcoin dropped below $46,000. Yields on 10-year Treasury notes were down about two basis points at 1.39%, and the two-year yield also was down about two basis points. The current spread of almost 0.775% is wider than Friday’s final reading of 0.750%.
Among meme stocks on our watch list, Friday’s winners outnumbered losers by about 2 to 1. The big winner was AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC), which closed up more than 19% on the strength of ticket sales for the latest Spider-Man tentpole. The company reported Monday morning that it sold more than 5 million tickets to weekend showings in the United States and 7 million tickets globally. The film was the largest December opening ever recorded, with $253 million in North American sales and $334.2 million in overseas sales for a gargantuan total of $587.2 million worldwide, surpassed only by the two most recent Avengers movies for all-time opening weekend ticket sales. AMC stock traded down about 2.5% in Monday’s premarket.
We rarely have old-line stocks like General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) show up on our meme stock report, but Monday was different. GM was among the most talked-about stocks over the past 24 hours due to last week’s announcement that Dan Ammann had left the GM-controlled Cruise. CEO Mary Barra fired Ammann, according to Bloomberg, over a dispute about which market Cruise’s autonomous driving vehicles and services should be first aimed at and when Cruise should be spun off into a separate company. GM stock dropped 5.5% on Friday and traded down more than 2% in Monday’s premarket.
And speaking of automakers, Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN) closed down more than 10% on Friday and traded down another 4% early Monday at $93.75. The stock posted a new 52-week low of $92.62 on Friday, before recovering somewhat to close at $97.70. The steep drop was the result of the company’s weak production outlook.
COVID-19 vaccine maker Ocugen Inc. (NASDAQ: OCGN) closed up about 4.4% on Friday and traded up about 11.5% in Monday’s premarket. The company’s Covaxin got some good news last week from a third-party study. That and the surging number of new COVID-19 cases attributed to the Omicron variant have helped revive the stock, but at around $5.80 a share, the stock still languishes about 70% below its 52-week high.
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