Should You Be Buying What Robinhood Is Selling? | Sidnaz Blog

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In rare cases, such pitches have paid off big time. More often, you’d have done yourself a favor by taking roughly half your money and lighting it on fire instead.

Just as Robinhood isn’t the first brokerage to offer commission-free trading, it isn’t the first to seek to “democratize” investing or to sell a piece of itself to its own customers.

On June 23, 1971, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. became the first New York Stock Exchange firm catering to individual investors to offer its shares to the public.

Thirsty for fresh capital in a struggling stock market, Merrill flogged its shares to its own customers, tapping the firm’s “awesome recognition among that vast segment of the population,” reported The Wall Street Journal the next day. “Primarily small investors, the type long championed by Merrill Lynch, quickly purchased the entire amount.”

Nearly 400 insiders at the firm unloaded a total of 2 million shares in the offering. From its initial $28 per share, the stock shot to about $42—a 50% pop—then closed around $39. That valued Merrill at 30.5 times its prior-year earnings, much higher than the overall stock market’s price/earnings ratio of 18.7.

Less than three weeks later, Merrill announced that its net earnings had fallen nearly 50% from the prior quarter.

For the rest of 1971, Merrill’s stock lost 9.4%; the S&P 500 gained 4%, counting dividends.

In 1972, when the S&P 500 rose nearly 19%, Merrill sank 7.7%. And in 1973-74, when the S&P 500 lost 37%, Merrill’s stock slumped by 61%. In its first three full years, Merrill’s stock lost three-quarters of its value; the S&P 500 fell only 5%.

Here in 2021, Robinhood’s offering is one of several trading and investing IPOs:

Coinbase Global Inc.,

the cryptocurrency exchange, went public in April, and

Acorns Grow Inc.,

which helps users invest in tiny increments, said in May that it expects to go public later in the year. Since its Apr. 14 debut, Coinbase is down about 27%. Robinhood fell 8% on its first day of trading Thursday.

One of Wall Street’s oldest and frankest sayings is “When the ducks quack, feed ‘em”—meaning that whenever investors are eager to buy something, brokers will sell it like mad.

Back in 1971, that was the brokers’ own shares. Roughly half a dozen major firms sold stock to the public soon after Merrill, including Bache & Co. and Dean Witter & Co. By 1974, according to data from the Center for Research in Security Prices LLC, several of them had dealt losses at least as devastating as Merrill’s.

In 1987, Jane and Joe Investor got invited to join in on the fun of Charles Schwab Corp.’s IPO, when roughly three million of the offering’s eight million shares were reserved for employees and customers of the firm.

Unlike Merrill, which was rescued from the brink of failure in 2008 when

Bank of America Corp.

bought the firm, Schwab went on to generate spectacular long-term performance. Over the full sweep of time since its 1987 IPO, Schwab is up more than 26,500%, or 17.9% annualized. The S&P 500 gained less than 3,500%, or an average of 11.3% annually.

However, Schwab went public in late September 1987. Only 18 trading days later, on Oct. 19, the U.S. stock market took its biggest one-day fall in history, plunging more than 20%.

Schwab’s stock got brutalized. In their first year, Schwab’s shares fell 59.1%. After three years, the market as a whole had gained 0.6% annually; Schwab’s stock lost an annualized average of 6.9%, according to CRSP.

How many of the original buyers in 1987 stuck around long enough to reap the giant rewards that came much later? That’s impossible to know, but the likeliest answer has to be: very few.

Every once in a while, outside investors in a brokerage IPO do well.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

began trading on May 4, 1999. If you’d bought Goldman stock in the IPO and held it ever since, you’d have earned 9.1% a year, versus 7.6% in the S&P 500, according to FactSet.

Yet Goldman was a giant then, as it is now; it was late to the IPO party because it had held on to its partnership structure for so many years. Most brokerage IPOs, like Robinhood’s, occur when the firms are younger and smaller.

That makes them typical. Companies selling shares to the public for the first time tend to be small, with minimal profits; they also require additional invested capital to sustain their rapid growth.

That’s what Savina Rizova, global head of research at Dimensional Fund Advisors, an asset manager in Austin, Texas, calls “a toxic combination of characteristics that points to low expected returns.”

On average, IPOs have severely underperformed seasoned stocks in the long run. And, history suggests, brokerages doing IPOs are better at timing the market for themselves than for you.

Write to Jason Zweig at [email protected]

More from The Intelligent Investor

The brokerage app Robinhood has transformed retail trading. WSJ explains its rise amid a series of legal investigations and regulatory challenges. Photo illustration: Jacob Reynolds/WSJ

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Twitter, Texas Instruments, Intel, Las Vegas Sands: What to Watch | Sidnaz Blog

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Futures are rising, pointing to an extention of the rally on Wall Street for a third day. Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Thursday’s open.

A Texas Instruments office in San Diego, Calif., April 24, 2018.



Photo:

mike blake/Reuters

  • Railway operator

    CSX


    CSX 1.25%

    jumped 2% premarket after it said profit more than doubled in the second quarter.

  • Las Vegas Sands


    LVS 3.43%

    said losses narrowed in the second quarter as revenue recovered from last year’s more restrictive measures to limit the spread of Covid-19, but market players are still taking their bets off the table. Its shares were down 2.5%.

  • Airbnb


    ABNB 2.32%

    shares are up 1.7% premarket. CEO

    Brian Chesky

    told Barrons that he sees the “travel rebound of the century,” even as Covid-19 cases jump.

  • Equifax


    EFX -0.60%

    raised its projections for the year as it sees broad-based revenue growth across all its segments. Market watchers greeted the news with a yawn: Shares were flat premarket.

  • Appliance maker

    Whirlpool


    WHR 1.91%

    lifted its guidance but said it will spend $1 billion more on raw materials this year as inflation hits corporate balance sheets. Its shares slipped 0.4%.

  • Intel,


    INTC 1.79%

    Twitter


    TWTR 2.36%

    and

    Snap


    SNAP 1.70%

    are set to report earnings after markets close. In Intel’s case, an earnings drop could be in the cards amid a global chip shortage.

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Moderna Jumps on Joining the S&P 500: What to Watch When the | Sidnaz Blog

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Stock futures are inching higher ahead of retail sales figures and a measure of consumer sentiment, that together will offer fresh clues on the vigor of American shoppers. Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Friday’s opening bell.

Medical professionals prepared syringes with doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination event in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2021.



Photo:

michael reynolds/Shutterstock

  • Intel


    INTC -1.26%

    is exploring a deal to buy GlobalFoundries, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would rate as its largest acquisition ever. The semiconductor giant’s shares ticked up 0.9% premarket.

  • Chinese regulators slammed the brakes on

    Didi Global


    DIDI -2.06%

    ‘s shares, having on Friday entered the ride-hailing giant’s offices to conduct a cybersecurity investigation. U.S.-traded Didi shares were down 4.3% ahead of the bell.

  • American Outdoor Brands


    AOUT 5.99%

    reported a net profit for the recent quarter after a loss a year earlier, but investors seem less than impressed. Shares of the outdoor sporting and camping goods retailer dropped more than 9.6% off hours.

  • Alcoa


    AA -1.71%

    shares added 1.9% premarket after the aluminum producer topped second-quarter sales and income expectations as it benefited from strong demand and rising prices.

  • Kansas City Southern


    KSU 0.77%

    said revenue during the recent quarter got a boost from a strengthening Mexican peso. The railroad operator’s shares were up 1% premarket

  • Charles Schwab


    SCHW 0.50%

    is among the companies reporting earnings Friday.

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The Stock Market Hasn’t Been This Placid in Years | Sidnaz Blog

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The U.S. stock market is as calm as can be on the surface, while churning underneath more than it has in decades.

The S&P 500 is so quiet it is almost disconcerting. The index hasn’t had a 5% correction based on closing prices since the end of October; no wonder the new day traders who started buying shares in lockdown think the market only goes up. The last time the S&P was this serene for so long was in 2017, a period of calm that ended with the volatility crash early in 2018—although back then it was even quieter for much longer.

Yet, look at the performance of types of stocks, and they have been swinging around much more than they usually do. Investors have been switching their bets between industries at a pace not seen outside of crises; March brought the biggest gap between the best and worst-performing sectors since 2002.

The link between moves in growth stocks and cheap “value” stocks is the weakest—measured by the correlation—since 1995; investors are using them as proxies for betting for or against economic recovery.

Meanwhile, big and small stocks last moved so independently of each other during the dot-com bubble of 2000, never a reassuring sign.

I think this is another aspect of TINA: There Is No Alternative to stocks. With Treasurys, corporate bonds and cash offering meager or zero return, stocks offer the best hope of gains. Investors who would previously have shifted money from stocks to bonds or vice versa now just switch from one sort of stock to another—so falls in one are offset by gains in another.

There is no guarantee that it continues this way, of course. Bring enough fear into play and investors will bolt for the exits no matter how low cash yields are, just as they did in March last year. But while times seem pretty good, it is hard to justify buying a long-dated bond yielding far less than inflation. And times do seem pretty good.

Stocks popular with retail traders such as GameStop have recently been among the most traded.



Photo:

carlo allegri/Reuters

A widespread theory among those of a cautious disposition is that stocks just keep going up because a massive bubble has been inflated by cheap money and government stimulus. Stocks haven’t been so expensive since 2000, while a bubble mentality is obvious in the wild overtrading of fashionable stocks. A cluster of small stocks popular with retail traders has often featured at the top of the most-traded lists this year, notably

GameStop

and

AMC Entertainment

but also favorites such as Virgin Galactic and

BlackBerry.

It is undeniable that stocks are far more expensive than usual. But bubbles usually involve lots of volatility as they inflate, not a calm exterior and turmoil within, because every little price drop is magnified by others fearful that the bubble is about to pop. In 1999 there were at least nine drops of more than 5% in the S&P 500, and from its intraday peak in July to the October low it fell 13%.

This time the most obvious threat to stocks is the Federal Reserve, rather than the market’s overvaluation. If the Fed raises rates, cash and bonds suddenly look much more attractive, and the TINA justification for buying extraordinarily expensive stocks is undermined.

“You’ve got lots of volatility within the market but not a lot of volatility of the market,” says

Robert Buckland,

chief global equity strategist at Citigroup. “If there’s an alternative to just owning the index that could change.”

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you make of the current calm state of the stock market?

This month’s Fed scare showed just how sensitive stock prices are when it turns out there is an alternative to stocks, of sorts. The Fed raised rates fractionally off the floor by offering 0.05% instead of 0% on its cash-absorbing reverse repurchase agreements, a kind of overnight secured deposit, and instantly sucked in $235 billion extra. Talk of rate increases coming in two years instead of the three previously projected added to pressure on stocks, and the S&P fell just over 2% in three days before resuming its upward climb.

If that was the reaction to the Fed just barely doing something close to nothing, imagine how scared the market would be if the Fed started a normal rate hiking cycle and made cash attractive again. It isn’t something I think is likely soon, but the number one threat that could bring the turmoil from the depths to the surface of this market is the Fed.

Write to James Mackintosh at [email protected]

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Clean Energy Fuels, Freeport-McMoRan, Alexandria Real Estate: | Sidnaz Blog

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Stock futures edged up on Tuesday ahead of data on retail sales and producer prices. Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Tuesday’s opening bell.

  • Futures tied to the S&P 500 were up 0.1%, suggesting that the broad benchmark index could beat Monday’s all-time high. Nasdaq-100 futures edged up 0.2%, pointing to gains in technology stocks after the opening bell.
What’s Coming Up
  • U.S. producer prices for May are due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the producer-price index rose 0.5% in May from the prior month.
  • Retail sales data for May are also due at 8:30. Economists estimate that the Commerce Department report will show retail sales declined 0.7% in the month.
  • Earnings are due from

    Oracle


    ORCL -0.34%

    and

    La-Z-Boy


    LZB -1.46%

    after the close.

Market Movers to Watch

A sign for Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. was displayed in front of the New York Stock Exchange on May 22, 2017.



Photo:

Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News

Market Facts
  • Nonfinancial companies issued $1.7 trillion of bonds in the U.S. last year, nearly $600 billion more than the previous high, according to Dealogic. By the end of March, their total debt stood at $11.2 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve, about half the size of the U.S. economy.
  • Bitcoin reached its highest level in more than two weeks Monday, trading as high as $41,046.77, buoyed by MicroStrategy completing its $500 million offering of junk bonds to buy bitcoin and by fresh comments from Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk. By Tuesday morning it had edged down to about $40,320.
  • On this day in 1215, King John of England signed the Magna Carta, enumerating the principles of limited government, free trade, private property and the liquidation of assets to pay debts.
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U.S. Stock Futures Edge Higher to Start the Week | Sidnaz Blog

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U.S. stock futures edged up to start the week after the S&P 500 hit another record close and notched its third consecutive week of gains.

Futures on the S&P 500 gained 0.1% and futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average strengthened 0.1%. Changes in futures don’t necessarily predict market moves after the opening bell.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 0.6% in morning trade, and it is at its highest level in a year. Led by gains in healthcare and communication services sectors.

ITV

rose 2.3% for a two-day run of gains.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100, which is dominated by large international businesses, added 0.7%. Other stock indexes in Europe also mostly climbed as France’s CAC 40 added 0.6%, the U.K.’s FTSE 250 rose 0.5% and Germany’s DAX gained 0.6%.

The Swiss franc and the British pound lost 0.1% against the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, the euro was mostly flat against the U.S. dollar, with 1 euro buying $1.21.

In commodities, international benchmark Brent crude was up 0.9% to $73.36 a barrel. Gold was down 1% to $1,861.20 a troy ounce.

The yield on German 10-year bunds strengthened to minus 0.269% and the 10-year U.K. government debt known as gilts yield gained to 0.713%. 10-year U.S. Treasury yields were little changed at 1.463% from 1.462% on Friday. Yields move inversely to bond prices.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.7%. Markets in China, Taiwan and Australia were closed for public holidays.

The Nasdaq stock exchange on Friday was decorated for a belated welcoming for DraftKings, which went public in April 2020 combining with a SPAC.



Photo:

Richard B. Levine/Zuma Press

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Slow Vaccinations in Developing World Set to Drag on Oil Demand | Sidnaz Blog

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The world’s appetite for crude oil will return to its pre-pandemic highs by the end of next year but low coronavirus vaccination rates in emerging economies are pushing the pandemic’s end date further away, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

In its market report, the energy watchdog said that while it expects global oil demand in 2022’s final quarter to hit 100.6 million barrels for the first time since late 2019, it was also slashing its forecast for resurgent demand in the second half of this year.

The IEA said the world will want approximately 300,000 barrels a day of crude less than previously thought in this year’s final two quarters because of slow vaccination campaigns in countries such as Brazil, India and Malaysia.

“The uneven distribution of vaccines at the global level means that this situation could persist in the second half of 2021 and into 2022, unless access to vaccines improves,” the IEA said. The report comes the day after a Wall Street Journal analysis showed that more people have died from Covid-19 already this year than in all of 2020.

At the same time, the world has finally burned off the glut of oil it built up when pandemic restrictions grounded flights and shut factories and restaurants last spring. After inventories threatened to exceed storage in the first half of 2020, developed-world oil stocks fell in May to below their pre-pandemic five-year average for the first time in more than a year, hitting their lowest since February 2020, the IEA said.

That estimate from the IEA came the day after a report from the Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries said that the five-year average wouldn’t be reached until the second half of the year.

An oil pump outside Saint-Fiacre, near Paris.



Photo:

christian hartmann/Reuters

Oil prices wavered early Friday, with Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, up 0.3% at $72.71 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate futures, the U.S. gauge, were up 0.2% at $70.46 a barrel. Both benchmarks hit fresh multiyear highs on Wednesday, with optimism about resurgent demand having held Brent prices above $70 a barrel in recent weeks.

The rebound in consumption—much of which comes from rising demand for gasoline and jet fuel as the global transportation sector continues its recovery—will allow oil producers to turn on the taps next year and raise their output, the Paris-based organization said.

After U.S. output declined during 2020 and 2021, American producers are on course to raise production by 900,000 barrels a day next year, with other non-OPEC producers adding a further 700,000 barrels a day to the market.

While that will leave room for OPEC and its allies to raise production by a further 1.4 million barrels a day above its target level for the period July 2021 to March 2022, it would still leave the alliance’s output more than two million barrels a day below its 2019 average, the IEA said.

Still, the status of Iranian supply represents an unknown for global producers. President Biden’s administration on Thursday lifted sanctions on three former Iranian officials and several energy companies amid stalled negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.

That could be a sign of things to come. Should the parties reach an agreement in the coming weeks, Iranian production could rise to full capacity of 3.8 million barrels a day—up 1.4 million barrels from current levels—by the end of next year, the report added.

While expectations of rising supply and the return of oil demand next year to 2019 levels represent a return to pre-pandemic normality for the global economy, the IEA also pointed out that its forecasts stood in stark contrast to its estimates that governments and businesses are still far from on track to hitting net-zero emissions by mid-century.

That target is crucial in limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, a goal laid out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Write to David Hodari at [email protected]

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GameStop, Clover Health, AMC, Chewy: What to Watch When the Stock | Sidnaz Blog

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Here’s what we’re watching as Thursday’s trading gets underway.

  • U.S. stock futures wobbled ahead of data on consumer prices that will offer fresh insights about the pace of inflation as the economy emerges from the pandemic.
  • Futures for the S&P 500 were up less than 0.1% and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 0.2%. Contracts for the technology-focused Nasdaq-100 slipped 0.3%. Read our full markets wrap here.
  • Bitcoin is trading around $37,200, a 2.2% rise from Wednesday’s level at 5 p.m. ET. The cryptocurrency is still down over 40% from its mid-April high.
What’s Coming Up
  • The U.S. consumer price index for May, a highly-anticipated data release on inflation, will go out at 8:30 a.m.
  • Weekly jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, are also going out at 8:30. They have been on a downward trajectory over the past five weeks and economists are projecting a new pandemic low as the economy continues to recover.
Market Movers to Watch

GameStop Corp. reset its leadership team as the videogame retailer looks to leverage its recent popularity with investors.



Photo:

Bing Guan/Bloomberg News

  • Clover Health


    CLOV -23.61%

    rose over 7%, looking set to partially reverse some of Wednesday’s losses. The stock was up 88% for the week at yesterday’s close.

  • AMC Entertainment


    AMC -10.37%

    took another leg down, declining 5.2%. The cinema chain fell over 10% on Wednesday.

    BlackBerry,


    BB -4.05%

    another stock frequently discussed on Reddit forums, was down 2.4%.

  • ContextLogic


    WISH -8.86%

    shares continued their wild ride, jumping 7.2% ahead of the bell. On Wednesday they closed down 8.9% in heavy-volume trading, after having been up more than 25% early in the session.

  • Biogen


    BIIB 2.93%

    slipped 1.8% premarket, pulling back after rallying more than 40% this week after the FDA approved its Alzheimer’s drug, a long-awaited breakthrough.

  • Derivatives exchange

    CME Group


    CME -0.57%

    retreated 2.6% in trading ahead of the opening bell, extending a three-day slide.

Market Facts
  • Issuance of green bonds hit a record $270 billion last year and is on pace to exceed that amount in 2021, according to data from the Climate Bonds Initiative.
  • The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note closed below 1.5%, its lowest level in more than three months, dragged down by tepid economic data and high demand from investors both in the U.S. and elsewhere.
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Stitch Fix, Coupa Software, Clover Health, Tesla: What to Watch | Sidnaz Blog

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U.S. stock futures wavered, suggesting major indexes would turn in a mixed performance after the opening bell in an extension of the recent choppy but range-bound trading.

  • S&P 500 futures were flat. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2%. Contracts for the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 edged up 0.2%.
  • Yields on 10-year Treasury notes ticked down to 1.553% from 1.570%. The dollar is up and oil prices are down slightly. Read our full market wrap here.
What’s Coming Up
Market Movers to Watch
  • Stitch Fix


    SFIX 4.36%

    : The online apparel company’s losses narrowed in the fiscal third quarter as sales jumped 44%, lifted by an increase in customers who took their shopping online. Shares leaped 14% premarket.

The Nasdaq exchange in New York displays advertising for Stitch Fix’s initial public offering in 2017.



Photo:

Richard B. Levine/Levine Roberts/Newscom /Zuma Press

  • Shares of

    Clover Health Investments

    soared after emerging as the latest target for retail traders on Reddit forums. The health-care company’s share price rose over 32% Monday and is up another 13% on Tuesday in premarket trading.

  • Shares of

    Coupa Software


    COUP 2.82%

    dropped 7.9% before the bell. The company forecast that it would post a loss in its 2022 fiscal year and named Tony Tiscornia as its new chief financial officer.

  • Tesla


    TSLA 1.01%

    shares rose 2.6%. The China Passenger Car Association said the electric-vehicle maker sold 21,936 made-in-Shanghai vehicles in China in May while exporting 11,527 cars overseas.

  • Marvell Technology


    MRVL -0.88%

    gained 4.6% after the chipmaker record quarterly sales.

  • Equity Residential


    EQR 0.74%

    fell 3.6% premarket. Shares of the real-estate investment trust had rallied in recent weeks after analysts at Morgan Stanley and BMO Capital markets had raised their target prices for the stock.

  • Another REIT,

    W. P. Carey,


    WPC -0.40%

    slipped 2.5%. The trust said it was looking to raise about $395 million in a share offering to fund potential investors and repay debt.

  • Etsy


    ETSY 2.52%

    lost 1.7% after the online crafts marketplace proposed a private offering of $1 billion in convertible senior notes late Monday.

Market Facts
  • Traders last week spent $11.6 billion on options contracts tied to AMC Entertainment Holdings, more than on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, Invesco QQQ Trust and Tesla Inc. combined, according to Cboe Global Markets data. Options on those stocks are typically among the market’s most popular.
  • Biogen shares surged 38% on Monday after U.S. regulators gave the green light to the drug known as aducanumab, the first such approval of any drug to treat Alzheimer’s in nearly two decades.
  • Demand for lithium used in batteries is expected to expand by a factor of 30 by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency. Cobalt and nickel also will be needed for batteries while copper will be used by transmission lines, electric vehicles and wind turbines. 
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Bitcoin, Bumble, Jack in the Box: What to Watch When the Stock | Sidnaz Blog

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Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Thursday’s opening bell.

  • Inflation continues to send jitters through Wall Street. U.S. stock futures are down, suggesting the S&P 500 will extend a losing streak that pushed the gauge to its biggest three-day loss since October.
  • Futures tied to the S&P 500 slipped 0.4% and those linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.6%. Nasdaq-100 futures ticked down 0.3%, pointing to further losses for tech stocks. Read our full market wrap here.
What’s Coming Up
Market Movers to Watch

A display in Times Square is pictured as dating-app operator Bumble made its debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange in February.



Photo:

mike segar/Reuters

  • Jack in the Box


    JACK -4.35%

    dropped 3.8% premarket. The restaurant chain said same-store sales increased in the recent quarter and raised its dividend.

  • L Brands


    LB -4.10%

    is up 2.6% ahead of the bell. The company earlier this week said it is spinning off lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret to existing shareholders, and yesterday some analysts raised their price targets for the stock.

  • Essex Property Trust


    ESS -3.19%

    dropped 4% premarket. The apartment REIT declared its quarterly distributions after Wednesday’s close.

  • Union Pacific


    UNP -2.03%

    ticked up 0.9% premarket. North American rail traffic rose more than 23% last week, marking a fifth straight week of gains topping 20%, data from the Association of American Railroads showed late Wednesday.

Market Facts
  • Bank of America and

    JPMorgan


    JPM -0.69%

    Chase traded the first complex derivative using a Bloomberg index crafted to replace Libor, exchanging $250 million worth of an interest-rate swap earlier this month. The transaction marks a shift in efforts to move away from the troubled rate underpinning trillions of dollars in financial contracts.

  • Bitcoin mining consumes about 148 terawatt-hours of energy annually, the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance estimates. That is more than Sweden uses in a year.
  • On this day in 1999, Barbie went high-tech as Mattel acquired The Learning Co., a maker of educational software, for $3.51 billion. After only 16 months, Mattel sold The Learning Co. to Gores Technology Group for no cash up front, the assumption of The Learning Co.’s debt and an undisclosed percentage of its future profits. Mattel lost roughly $4 billion on the acquisition with nothing to show for it, making the deal one of the most disastrous in modern history.
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