Congratulations! Investors made it through the first trading day after a long weekend, and boy was it a busy one. Wall Street was focusing on a meat plant cyber attack, a frantic rally in meme stocks, the debut of SoFi (NASDAQ:SOFI) and a viral video of a woman shoving a bear. Beyond all that, what did the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.05%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.13%
- The Nasdaq Composite closed lower 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? Bet on AMC.
Short-sellers must really be feeling the pain on Wednesday, as AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) gained more than 22% and neared 52-week highs. In fact, one report suggests these short-sellers lost another $600 million in Tuesday trading.
The company has been on a tear in recent days, fueled by r/WallStreetBets posts and high hopes for another short squeeze. Social media campaigns like #AMCarmy and #AMCsqueeze have drawn attention to the still-strong retail investing crowd.
Today, those retail investors got a more traditional hand. AMC Entertainment announced that it was raising $230 million through Mudrick Capital Acquisition. As a result, the movie theater operator will have more cash to expand its physical footprint and improve the customer experience. For AMC stock fans, this was excellent news.
More broadly, the retail crowd has been cheering on the Covid-19 reopening story. As InvestorPlace Assistant News Writer Brenden Rearick highlighted today, Memorial Day Weekend was a boon for movie theaters. AMC benefitted, as did companies like Cinemark (NYSE:CNK) and IMAX (NYSE:IMAX). With pandemic restrictions easing and blockbuster releases queued up, consumers are returning in force to movie theaters.
But there is another story for investors — the retail crowd and Wall Street are largely divided on the future for AMC stock. As Rearick showed today, Redditors are betting on sky-high targets like $500 for the meme name. On the other hand, analysts have a 12-month consensus estimate of less than $7. Based on current prices, that is more than 80% downside.
As we look ahead to movie premiers and maskless gatherings, it is truly a toss up between Wall Street and Main Street.
Consumers Are Having a Tough Time Getting High
Looking for some legal weed? If you are in New York or New Jersey, you may be out of luck.
According to InvestorPlace contributor William White, residents in these states are facing recreational pot shortages, fueled by a variety of factors. Other states like New Mexico have similarly been hard hit.
Each of these affected states is looking to increase output to meet demand, however, those in the state cannabis businesses are learning things are not so easy. Because cannabis is not yet legal at the federal level, states cannot work across state lines to increase their supply. Although this should be a catalyst for domestic growers, difficulties receiving financing can keep would-be success stories on the ground.
Investors should note that these shortages come at a time when pot sales in the U.S. are increasing. In fact, the New York Times reported that many American consumers treated cannabis as an essential good equivalent to toilet paper. This means that during the pandemic, dispensaries stepped up to fill a new role in combatting pandemic-related anxiety. Sales in the U.S. rose nearly 50% year-over-year.
So what comes next? The short-term story for cannabis stocks will be a tough one, especially as the question of federal legalization remains in limbo. However, as White highlighted, if lawmakers move forward with pro-cannabis legislation, these shortages could quickly ease. In the meantime, they could also contribute to a healthy spike in product prices for big names like Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) and GrowGeneration (NASDAQ:GRWG).
Ripple Is Making Waves
Ripple and its XRP (CCC:XRP-USD) cryptocurrency are continuing to drum up investor support, and a series of catalysts this week make XRP even more promising.
First, Ripple continues to battle its way through a lawsuit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Although it is the underdog to the regulatory agency, Ripple has been pulling through, and landed yet another victory in recent days. A judge involved in the case struck down a request by the SEC to see Ripple’s legal communications. For the XRP cryptocurrency, this is another sign that its courtroom headwinds could soon be a thing of the past. It is also an indicator that more bullish price predictions could be coming.
Second, a key Ripple client is about to come public, proving the legitimacy of its payment solutions.
The company is dLocal, and it is known for facilitating cross-border payments at a fraction of the transaction fees its larger competitors charge. This business case has attracted big-name customers like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Spotify (NYSE:SPOT). It has also made the dLocal IPO this week a key one to watch.
As InvestorPlace contributor Chris MacDonald highlighted today, dLocal and its upcoming IPO prove that XRP has a real use case. For investors betting on a post-lawsuit future, this really sweetens the pot.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith 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.
Sarah Smith is the Editor of Today’s Market with InvestorPlace.com.