Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! The weekend is almost here, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) wants to replace Calibri, and Wall Street is busy once again. So what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is down 0.61%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.65%
- The Nasdaq Composite is down 0.35%
So what else did the stock market do today? Here are the top there stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Boom or Bust.
One of the biggest stories in the stock market is the current push and pull.
Are we in a bubble or a boom? Importantly, no two experts have the same way of approaching this question. Some economic indicators, like a coming plateau in vaccination rates, rising consumer prices and an upcoming end to government stimulus measures like an eviction moratorium raise concerns of a bubble. So-called market frothiness and the meme stocks frenzy also contribute to these fears.
However, other economic indicators are flashing green and telling of a huge reopening boom underway. Plus, California is moving forward with its Disneyland reopening plan. New York thinks Broadway will be back in action in just a few months.
Today, another one of those bullish indicators comes from corporate earnings. Going into this tech-dominated week, investors were not sure what to expect. Companies more than delivered. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) posted massive sales growth, and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) soared thanks to YouTube. Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) gained on rising construction activity while Visa (NYSE:V) profited from a boom in payments. Even Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) continues to do well, thanks to ongoing demand for cleaning products.
So what is the bottom line? One immediate takeaway is that these earnings come at a time when many forecasts are up in the air, making them hard to interpret. Another is that investors should proceed with caution. Unless you have a crystal ball, it’s simply hard to say what comes next.
Biden’s Big Winners
President Joe Biden has been president for 100 days now, and it’s time to check his report card.
As the team at Morning Brew writes, in terms of the stock market, he has had a banner time. The S&P 500 has gained more than 10% since his inauguration, making it the best first 100 days since FDR. In fact, the average since 1929 has been just 3.8%. Although there are a variety of other factors impacting stock market performance, investors still want to know the biggest winners.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, GameStop (NYSE:GME) and many other speculative small-cap names were top winners. GameStop, fueled on by Ryan Cohen and r/WallStreetBets, soared 340% during Biden’s first 100 days. Other small-cap winners included Callon Petroleum (NYSE:CPE).
But with the S&P 500 in focus, here are the top five gainers in the S&P 500 during Biden’s first 100 days:
- Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX), gains of 59%
- Gap (NYSE:GPS), gains of 54%
- Nucor (NYSE:NUE), gains of 49%
- L Brands (NYSE:LB), gains of 46%
- Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), gains of 43%
Summertime (Pool) Sadness
Over the course of the pandemic, demand for backyard swimming pools has skyrocketed.
Community pools are a no-go for many, and families are feeling pressured to find new ways to stay entertained. Although not the cheapest solution, backyard pools have seen demand continue to increase. According to Latham Group (NASDAQ:SWIM) CEO Scott Rajeski, this trend will only continue. In fact, with the pandemic spurring homeowners to invest in their outdoor spaces, he thinks 10%-12% of homeowners that do not currently have swimming pools will buy one in the next five years. That could leave SWIM stock swimming in profits.
Latham Group is not alone. The pandemic has welcomed swimming pool companies to the public markets and helped them gain. Other new faces include Hayward Holdings (NYSE:HAYW) and Leslie’s (NASDAQ:LESL).
However, a shark has now entered the backyard waters.
Homeowners are now facing a widespread chlorine shortage, thanks to heightened demand and a fire at a chemical manufacturing plant that limited supply. As CNBC reported, this is the worst chlorine shortage ever in the United States, and prices are already rising. This will serve a harsh blow to homeowners looking to beat the heat and cash in on their backyard investments. A shortage of necessary chlorine tablets in turn will trigger shortages of other forms, like powdered and liquid chlorine.
For homeowners, this could bring a bout of summertime (pool) sadness. For one publicly traded company, it could be a ticket to sunny days. Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) is one of the only domestic manufacturers of these chlorine tablets, and it is definitely feeling the rise in demand. As the summer shortage saga continues to evolve, keep this story on your radar.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is the Editor of Today’s Market with InvestorPlace.com.