Congratulations, you’ve finally made it to the long weekend! Reddit stocks are up, digital currency is down. Inflation is rearing its head, but investors are unfazed. And, the vaccine effort seems to be reaching some obstacles. So what did the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.08%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.19%
- The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.09%
So what else did the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Did the Stock Market Do Today? It Stiff-Armed Inflation Fears
Inflation is seemingly all people are talking about in recent weeks. Shortages on products like lumber, microchips, rubber, glass and countless other products, combined with the post-pandemic rise in demand, are stoking fears of big summer inflation.
Reuters is reporting this afternoon some sticker-shock statistics for investors to “look forward to” when stocking up for their holiday weekend BBQs: ground beef and hot dogs are up 7% and 11% respectively. Meals and alcohol away from home are up 3%. Beyond that, consumers are seeing plenty of other industries increasing prices; tickets, airfare, appliances and a host of other products are on the rise.
That didn’t stop investors today, though. Even with the data pointing toward coming inflation, the three major indices gained today. Rick Meckler of Cherry Lane Capital, says, “The market is less concerned about the inflation numbers and more interested in the fact that the reopening of the economy would lead to better corporate performance.”
Also soothing investors’ inflation fears is Richard Clarida, vice chairman of the Fed, who is confident the central banking system will be able to deal with the rising inflation concerns without throwing the economy into turmoil.
Bloomberg analyst John Authers is attempting to further quell investor inflation worry today. His deep-dive into inflation concerns points to the Fed’s confidence as an area of comfort. In analyzing the recent consumer price index, Authers was sure to explicitly note the numbers look especially bad because they are adjacent to the pandemic year. Supplementing all of this is a chart showing the inflation curve flattening out greatly around March.
We obviously don’t know how much or how little inflation will affect us through the year, but it’s clear that investors are not quite concerned about it yet. Lawrence Summers is certainly punching the air right now.
‘Hot Vax Summer’ Hits Some Potholes During Rollout
Getting vaccinated is the biggest trend of 2021. With 40.4% of Americans fully vaccinated, and more than 50% with their first dose, things have been going great. With millions worrying in early 2021 about even getting their shot, thanks to the hyper-demand for it upon the first vaccine rollouts, vaccinations are hitting their schedule with great success.
However, it seems that we’re rapidly nearing the divergence of supply and demand. Most everybody who wants their vaccine is now vaccinated, and the real work is getting more cautious or outright skeptical people to come in for their shots.
Incentives for vaccinations are growing country-wide. Dr. James Simmons of California spoke with Yahoo Finance this afternoon, and is lauding the creative incentives of states to get people into the vaccination chair. California, for example, is giving $116 million in lottery winnings to vaccinated people, and the stunt is working incredibly well.
However, Simmons says that we’re not out of the woods yet. “The psychology of these vaccine incentives will only go so far.” Regardless, Simmons advises states to keep pushing the incentives, saying that every percentage point is at least a step closer to the “magic herd immunity numbers.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Jeremy Faust of Brigham and Women’s Hospital talks of another issue. Faust mentions the percentage of U.S. vaccinations being still relatively low, a far reach from the necessary numbers for herd immunity. And yet, while the country continues to try and incentivize citizens to get vaccinated, there are high-risk populations abroad that are still in need:
“On one hand, you have vaccine equity and the fact that all around the world there are geriatric people, people who are retired, even health care workers on the front line who don’t have a vaccine yet, and they are putting it all on the line every day, and we’re vaccinating our low-risk population here in the United States.”
Winners, Losers, Honorable Mentions
Winners: Reddit stocks. It is a huge day for Reddit retail investors today, with a ton of r/WallStreetBets favorites seeing big gains. Palantir (NYSE:PLTR), Naked (NASDAQ:NAKD), Blackberry (NYSE:BB), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Microvision (NASDAQ:MVIS), Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), and AMC (NYSE:AMC) were all in the green. However, star child GameStop (NYSE:GME) slid downward.
Losers: Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD). Digital currencies continued their slide downward today, with Bitcoin once again unable to hold its head above the $40,000 mark. Analysts are becoming more and more bearish on BTC as it stagnates, with one telling CoinDesk, “BTC can be very volatile, especially compared to assets in traditional markets.” He added that BTC dipping below $30,000 could mean losses on the year.
Honorable Mentions: Calvin Johnson. The former Detroit Lions wide receiver and six-time Pro Bowler is the newest celebrity to launch his own line of cannabis products. The co-founder of Primativ Group, a medical cannabis research organization, is seeing his line launch in a growing and competitive industry. Johnson says in an interview with Yahoo Finance he hopes to win over patients with his brand’s “boutique” quality. Get that money, Megatron.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.