Midday Meme Stock Report for 12/29: DiDi, Nio, Robinhood, Virgin Galactic

Of the three major U.S. stock indexes, only the Dow Jones industrial average was trading in the green Wednesday morning, likely due to new 52-week highs from Cisco, UnitedHealth, Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola. In the broader market, decliners led by a ratio of around 8 to 7. The Nasdaq traded down about 0.4% in the noon hour, and the S&P 500 was essentially flat.

Crude oil remained roughly flat with its premarket level of $75.60 a barrel, and Bitcoin had recovered to match its closing price of Tuesday near $47,600. The 10-year/two-year Treasury note spread widened from a premarket difference of about 0.75% to around 0.79% at noon.

The meme stock posting the biggest loss in morning trading Wednesday was DiDi Global Inc. (NYSE: DIDI). Reuters reported late Tuesday that unnamed sources say DiDi plans to delist its American depositary shares (ADS) and list common shares in Hong Kong by means of a “listing by introduction” that would allow holders of U.S. shares gradually to transfer shares to Hong Kong. The sources did not offer details on how that transfer would work but noted that DiDi plans to file for a listing in Hong Kong by April and to have the listing operating by June. DiDi posted a new 52-week low Wednesday morning.

Robinhood Markets Inc. (NASDAQ: HOOD) posted a new 52-week low Wednesday morning, likely in the shadow of the softening price of bitcoin. In a blog post, the company said it had completed the alpha test period for its crypto wallet and plans to launch a beta test in mid-January. Robinhood also noted that more than 1.6 million people have signed up for a “Wen Wallet.”

Now that DiDi reportedly has decided on how to keep the Chinese government happy, there is some concern among investors that other China-based firms might delist and move either to Hong Kong or Shanghai. Electric vehicle maker Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO) is one of those. The automaker’s stock has dropped more than 40% over the past 12 months, and it posted a new 52-week low earlier in the day.

Shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) also posted a new 52-week low Wednesday morning. That follows the announcement Tuesday that another company, Virgin Orbit, founded by Richard Branson has agreed to a SPAC merger with NextGen Acquisition II. The business combination is expected to be completed by the end of this month and the newly public commercial space launch company is set to begin trading on the Nasdaq as Virgin Orbit Holdings under the ticker symbol VORB.

The merger is expected to deliver gross proceeds of $228 million, including just $68 million from NextGen. When the merger was announced in August, NextGen was pegged to contribute $383 million following a blizzard of redemptions from early investors. A PIPE offering expected to add $100 million to the proceeds will now contribute $160 million.

Shares of DiDi traded down about 7.2% as the lunch hour ended Wednesday, at $5.00 in a 52-week range of $4.93 to $18.01. The average daily trading volume is about 19.9 million shares, and almost 19.6 million already had traded on Wednesday.

Robinhood stock traded down about 1.8% to $17.15, in a 52-week range of $16.68 to $85.00. The average daily trading volume is about 10.8 million shares, and more than 9.4 million had traded thus far  on the day.

Nio stock traded down about 4.6% to $28.28, in a 52-week range of $27.52 to $66.99. The average daily trading volume is around 43.1 million shares, and more than 36.3 million had traded already.

Shares of Virgin Galactic traded down about 5.2%, at $13.10 in a 52-week range of $13.00 to $62.80. The average daily trading volume is nearly 12 million shares, and more than 10 million had changed hands.

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