All three major U.S. stock indexes were holding on to slim gains in the noon hour Wednesday, after bouncing off mid-morning drops into the red. Trading volume was below average, and decliners outnumbered advancers, while the ratio of new highs to new lows tilted slightly to the winners on the New York Stock Exchange and slightly to the losers on the Nasdaq. The best-performing sector was technology (up 0.6%), and the worst was health care (down 0.4%). Seven of the 11 market sectors traded higher and big-cap growth stocks (think Apple, Microsoft, Tesla) were showing the largest gains.
Crude oil added more than 2% to come close to $83 a barrel, following the EIA report showing crude oil stockpiles fell last week. Gasoline stockpiles increased again but were apparently discounted. Bitcoin added about 1% since the morning to trade at around $43,700. Yields on 10-year and two-year Treasury notes moved in opposite directions, with the 10-year dropping a couple of basis points and the two-year adding a couple.
Looking at our meme stock watch list, losers appeared to outnumber winners by about three to one. Just one stock was trading near a double-digit move, and that was Vinco Ventures Inc. (NASDAQ: BBIG). The company is a media and social media company that also has a cryptocurrency-mining subsidiary known as Cryptyde. Someday soon, the company will change its name to Zash, currently the name of another subsidiary. The stock traded at a 12-month high of around $12.50 in early September and now trades at around $2.60. Some would argue that this is a buying opportunity. Others would not.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) traded up by nearly 1% earlier in the morning but dipped to below the breakeven line in the noon hour. One of less than a handful of analysts covering the stock said Wednesday morning that GameStop’s “involvement in the growing metaverse and NFT marketplace are intriguing,” but that it is hard to calculate the value there. Like many others, Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink sees an opportunity if the company can figure out a way to monetize its gaming customers.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was on a march toward its all-time high earlier in the morning, before the climb stalled. It sort of restarted and the shares were near their intraday high of around $1,103 again. One interesting development reported by Reuters is that California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is considering making the company meet the same requirements as autonomous vehicles. Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” feature, the company argues, requires a driver and therefore should not be subject to rules that require autonomous vehicles to report every crash on a public road, whether or not the self-driving features of the vehicle are engaged. Public disclosure is not something Tesla welcomes.
Sentiment among retail investors for Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) rose in the morning following filings by four company insiders that they had spent good money buying more shares of the company’s stock. As a wise person once observed, insiders sell their company’s stock for a variety of reasons (e.g., Elon Musk’s sales to pay the taxes on exercising even more options) but they only buy the stock for one reason: they think the price will rise.
Just after the noon hour ended, Vinco Ventures stock traded up about 9.6% to $2.66, in a 52-week range of $1.40 to $12.49. The average daily trading volume is about 23.4 million shares, and about 9.4 million had traded thus far on Wednesday.
Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond traded up more than 5% to $13.80, in a 52-week range of $12.51 to $53.90. The average daily trading volume is about 9.5 million shares, and nearly 4 million had already traded on the day.
GameStop shares traded down by less than 1% to $129.93, in a 52-week range of $20.03 to $483.00. The average daily trading volume is about 2.7 million shares, and more than a million had traded so far.
Tesla stock traded up about 3.3%, at $1,099.41 in a 52-week range of $535.49 to $1,243.49. The average daily trading volume is around 27.6 million shares, and about 17.4 million had already changed hands.