Stocks were lower at the open on Thursday with the Dow dropping 50 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 fell by 0.4%, while the Nasdaq traded 0.7% lower.
Meme stocks have been on a wild ride this morning. AMC shares are down more than 24%, halting this week’s more than 250% rally, after the company said it plans to sell more than 11 million shares amid the trading frenzy. Similarly, Express has also dropped more than 20% after the retailer announced it plans to sell up to 15 million shares, while Blackberry is up more than 10% as Redditors promote the stock. “The Reddit bandwagon will find new targets and revenge against short sellers is highly likely to continue,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. “This has turned into a game, so investors who don’t have money they can afford to lose should stay clear of hot stocks. If lots of people are piling into a company they are probably buying it at an inflated price, and as we’ve seen, rapid spikes in prices are often followed by equally rapid falls.”
Initial jobless claims fell below 400,000 for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The Labor Department reported first-time filings totaled 385,000 for the week ended May 29. Despite the drop in initial claims, continuing claims rose by 169,000 to 3.77 million and more than 15.4 million Americans are still receiving benefits under various programs. Earlier Thursday, ADP said private job growth accelerated at its fastest pace in nearly a year in May, with companies hiring 970,000 workers. “Private payrolls showed a marked improvement from recent months and the strongest gain since the early days of the recovery,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP.
United Airlines said it is buying 15 planes from Boom Supersonic with the option to purchase 35 additional planes in the future. While Boom’s first commercial supersonic jet, the Overture, hasn’t yet been built or certified, the company is targeting the start of passenger service in 2029 with a plane that could fly at Mach 1.7, cutting some flight times in half. “United continues on its trajectory to build a more innovative, sustainable airline and today’s advancements in technology are making it more viable for that to include supersonic planes. Boom’s vision for the future of commercial aviation, combined with the industry’s most robust network in the world, will give business and leisure travelers access to a stellar flight experience,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a press release. “Our mission has always been about connecting people and now working with Boom, we’ll be able to do that on an even greater scale.”
Twitter announced the launch of its new subscription service, Twitter Blue. The service is designed for power users willing to pay a monthly fee for exclusive features including an Undo Tweet feature that will allow users to set a customizable timer of up to 30 seconds to take back a tweet if it needs to be fixed, Bookmark Folders to organize saved tweets, a Reader Mode for longer threads, color themes, and dedicated customer support. Twitter Blue is the company’s first attempt at a subscription business model and could diversify the company’s revenue streams. The service will first roll out to users in Canada and Australia for $3.49 and $4.49 per month, respectively, and Twitter did not say when the service will be available in the U.S.
And Ford shares are up nearly 6% this morning after the company confirmed it is expanding its highly profitable truck lineup with a new small pickup called Maverick. The Maverick is expected to be smaller than Ford’s F-150 and its midsize Ranger models, and could be among the smallest and cheapest pickups available in the U.S. “We do think there’s some opportunity there because of how expensive trucks have gotten, how big they’ve gotten and the overall popularity of trucks,” said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Cox Automotive. Ford said it will unveil the new pickup on June 8.
Stocks We’re Watching
Skillz Inc (NYSE: SKL.W): Skillz shares jumped nearly 67% yesterday after the company announced it has agreed to acquire Aarki, a leading technology-driven marketing platform. “Aarki’s proven machine learning will pair with Skillz’s robust first-party data to create an unrivaled value proposition for game developers,” said Skillz CEO Andrew Paradise. “The integrated ecosystem will unlock new points of connectivity between consumers, developers, and brands, pairing the right impression with the right user at the right time, all while delivering a superior user experience.”