August 18, 2022

Business & Finance Blog

Stock Market Today: Dow Jones, S&P 500 Drop Ahead Of Key Economic Data; Twitter Stocks Up After Elon Musk Drops Board Position

Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down by 90 points. Investors are eagerly awaiting for another week of corporate earnings seasons. They will also wait for a treasure trove of new economic data. This comes as the Fed gears up to fight red-hot inflation. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today urged South Korean lawmakers to provide military aid, saying the country’s sanctions on Russia cannot alone put an end to its invasion of Ukraine. Russia said it had destroyed an anti-aircraft system in Ukraine that had been given to that by a European ally.

AT&T (NYSE: T) reports that it has completed the spin-off of its WarnerMedia unit to Discovery Communications. The stock of the newly combined Warner Brothers Discovery (NYSE: WBD) will trade under the ticker WBD. T stock is up by over 4% on today’s opening bell. Drugmaker Veru (NYSE: VERU) surged by over 30% today after its oral experimental drug demonstrated overwhelming evidence of efficacy for treating hospitalized Covid-19 patients. The company says that it will seek FDA emergency use authorization for this treatment.

Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are down by 1.38% today while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also down by 2.49%. Meanwhile, Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are trading lower on Monday. Among the Dow financial leaders, Visa (NYSE: V) is down by 0.65% while JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) is up by 0.28%.

Shares of EV leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are down by 2.78% on Monday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) are up by 0.12%. Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) is also up by 0.18% today. Chinese EV leaders like Nio (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) opened lower today.

Dow Jones Today: Treasury Yields Edges Higher Ahead Of Key Economic Data

Following the stock market opening on Monday, the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq are trading lower at 0.75%, 0.27%, and 1.06% respectively. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) is down by 1.17% while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) is also down by 0.83%. 

The 10-year Treasury yield continues to tick higher today, breaching 2.76% today. The 5-year and 30-year rates remain inverted, which in late March happened for the first time since 2006. This would add fears of a possible recession, given that an inversion has been a precursor to a recession. Bond yields have surged over the past month as investors brace for more hawkish Fed policy.

Oil prices also continue to fall on Monday, with the West Texas Intermediate crude dropping to below $94 per barrel. Brent is also down by over 4% to around $99 per barrel. Crude prices have been steadily declining for the past two weeks after the U.S. and its allies announced plans to release oil from their strategic reserves in an attempt to offset the lost Russian supply.

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Twitter Stocks Up As Elon Musk Drops Board Position

Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) seems to be getting a lot of attention to the latest developments regarding its largest shareholder, Elon Musk. By and large, the Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO is once again coming into focus after an announcement from Twitter CEO Arag Paragwal. Through a tweet, Paragwal notes that Musk will not be joining the social media firm’s board of directors. He continues, “We have and will always have input from our shareholders whether they are on the Board or not. Elon is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.” As a result of this announcement, TWTR stock is currently trading higher by over 2% at today’s opening bell. 

For one thing, even with the billionaire investor not joining Twitter’s board, he remains a prominent investor. In fact, since news of his 9.2% stake broke last week, Musk has and continues to make major suggestions regarding Twitter. These come in the form of several tweets alongside comments regarding the company’s premium subscriber content. For starters, Musk suggests that “everyone who signs up for Twitter Blue (i.e. pays $3/month) should get an authentication checkmark.” On top of that, he also argues that subscribers should have an ad-free experience. 

Moreover, Musk also suggested via a recent tweet that Twitter’s physical headquarters should become a homeless shelter. According to the Tesla CEO, this would make sense since “no one shows up anyway.” Despite the tongue-in-cheek nature of the post, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos appears to be supportive of this. Safe to say, TWTR stock is well in the limelight at this week’s stock market open.

TWTR stock
Source: TradingView

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Shopify Eyes 10-To-1 Stock Split As CEO Tobi Lutke Aims For “Founder Share”

Shares of Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) are in the spotlight in the stock market today. For the most part, this is thanks to the latest announcement from the e-commerce titan. Namely, the company is planning to seek shareholder approval for a 10-for-1 stock split. It is doing so to ideally secure a “founder share” for CEO Tobi Lutke, increasing his voting power in the company. Should things go as planned, Shopify will be issuing a new class of non-transferable founder shares to Lutke. As a result of this, he will then have a total executive voting power of 40%, up from the previous 34%.

Weighing in on the current move is Shopify’s lead independent director, Robert Ashe. He writes, “Tobi is key to supporting and executing Shopify’s strategic vision and this proposal ensures his interests are aligned with long-term shareholder value creation.” At the same time, aside from the issuance of a founder share, investors will receive nin additional Class A shares on June 28. Similar to other moves from big tech names over the past few months, Shopify is looking to make its shares more accessible to investors. While the move does not impact the company’s fundamentals, it would draw the attention of more retail investors. Following this news, SHOP stock is currently gaining by over 2% at today’s opening bell. 

SHOP stock
Source: TradingView

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