U.S. markets opened roughly flat Tuesday morning, sagged a bit for the first hour or so, then began climbing. As of the noon hour, 10 of the 11 market sectors were trading in the green, led by energy (up 2.6%), financials (up 2.1%) and industrials (up 2.0%). Advancers were leading decliners by a ratio of around 5 to 1, even among the Dow Jones industrials. President Biden’s expected announcement that the federal government has finally decided to issue free coronavirus test kits may have assuaged some fears of more business closures and even some lockdowns.
Crude oil traded up 4% in the noon hour Tuesday at around $71 a barrel. Bitcoin pulled back a bit since early in the morning but still traded at around $48,700. The 10-year/two-year Treasury note spread had increased to around 0.82%, as yields on both continue to rise while investors buy the dip on riskier assets.
The big winner thus far Tuesday was Cassava Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: SAVA), trading up by around 20% in the noon hour. We suggested in our morning report that a short squeeze might be in the cards, but that was only part of the story.
Just before the opening bell, the company released further reviews denying alleged company manipulation of a report on trial results of Cassava’s Alzheimer’s treatment. Shares were halted for half an hour before trading resumed at 10:00 a.m. with an opening price of $52.40, an increase of 42.5% over Monday’s closing price. A second halt just after trading in the shares opened was lifted after five minutes.
Some retail investors were looking for short sellers to feel the squeeze. WallStreetBets member putssy comments: “It’s pretty crazy, they’re [i.e., hedge funds] still not covering. All these people chasing short squeezes in garbage companies, SAVA is the real thing.”
OG meme stock AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) traded up about 3.6% in the noon hour Tuesday on no specific news. The company continues to ride the wave of exuberance following the giant weekend opening of the new Spider-Man film. Over at Motley Fool, Anders Bylund suggests that AMC might want to consider putting some of its cash in Bitcoin. By itself that wouldn’t save AMC as a theater operator, but, Bylund suggests, “Maybe the only viable way forward is to abandon the movie theaters altogether, turning the company into a digital assets manager instead.”
Camber Energy Inc. (NYSE: CEI) was Tuesday’s biggest loser thus far, with a decline of about 6% in its share price. The company said in the morning that it received another extension from the New York Stock Exchange until January 14 to cure its delinquency in filing required SEC documents. If needed, Camber can request additional extensions to carry it through until May 22.
Camber also announced that the two major institutional investor services, ISS and Glass-Lewis, recommended that its shareholders vote in favor of a reverse stock split that would reduce the number of authorized Camber shares from 1 billion to 250 million.
At an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in Australia, shareholders of Naked Brand Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: NAKD) approved a name change to Cenntro Electric Group when the company completes a merger with electric vehicle maker Cenntro Automotive Group and proceed with a 1-for-15 reverse split that would reduce the outstanding share count from about 1 billion to about 68 million.
Naked Brands also terminated a previously disclosed at-the-market offering of $300 million worth of stock and announced a purchase agreement with a private investor for about 46.2 million shares priced at $0.433 per share (total of $20 million) and warrants for a similar number of shares at an exercise price of $0.53 per share. Current investors were not amused.
Cassava stock traded up about 25% to $45.95 as the noon hour ended Tuesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $6.70 to $146.16, and the average daily trading volume is about 5.8 million shares. Nearly 15 million shares had traded thus far on Tuesday.
Shares of AMC traded up about 3.5% to $30.75, in a 52-week range of $1.91 to $72.62. The average daily trading volume is around 44.5 million shares, and more than 34 million already had been traded on the day.
Camber Energy stock traded down about 7.6%, at $0.93 in a 52-week range of $0.33 to $4.85. The average daily trading volume is around 177.6 million shares, and only about 10% of that number have traded thus far.
Shares of Naked Brands traded down about 3.9%, at $0.48 in a 52-week range of $0.18 to $3.40. The average daily trading volume is around 72 million shares, and about 51 million had traded.