Plus, Coinbase experienced outages amid the sell-off in cryptocurrencies, Target delivered an earnings beat, and JetBlue announced a new route from New York’s JFK to London’s Heathrow.
Stocks were lower at the open on Wednesday with the Dow slid 115 points, or 0.3%, lower. The S&P 500 fell by 0.7%, while the Nasdaq dropped 1.7%.
Bitcoin dropped as low as $30,201.96 early Wednesday, wiping out all gains since Tesla‘s February 8 announcement that it would purchase of $1.5 billion worth of the world’s largest cryptocurrency. Other cryptocurrencies also plunged this morning, with Ether dropping more than 30% to $2,235, and Dogecoin also falling by 30% to around $0.32. “The crypto markets are currently processing a cascade of news that fuel the bear case for price development,” said Ulrik Lykke, executive director at crypto hedge fund ARK36. “In terms of Bitcoin’s outlook, things may be looking grim right now, but historically this is just yet another hurdle for Bitcoin to overcome and a small one compared to what it has braved in the past.” Stephane Ouellette, chief executive and co-founder of FRNT Financial, added, “This is going to be the first ‘welcome to crypto’ day for a lot of new entrants. The history of these assets has been littered with aggressive rallies and sickening selloffs.”
With the crypto market in free-fall, related stocks are falling. Tesla is down nearly 4%, Coinbase is down more than 7%, and MicroStrategy is down almost 8% at the time of writing. Coinbase, the newly public crypto exchange, was down this morning as crypto prices plunged, pushing the stock to a record low of $208 at its lowest point. “Coinbase’s trading debut coincides with the top for Bitcoin and many traders can’t make a convincing argument that it will be able to recover all those losses since then,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Target shares are up 5% today after the retailer said shares rose 23% in the first quarter as its exclusive brands and curbside pickup drew in shoppers. The retailer reported adjusted earnings per share of $3.69 on revenue of $24.20 billion, compared to estimates for earnings of $2.25 per share on revenue of $21.81 billion. CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement, “Our performance in the first quarter was outstanding on every measure, and showcased the power of putting our stores at the center of our strategy,” and included more than $1 billion in market-share gains. “We’re confident in continued comp growth in the second quarter and through the remainder of the year, as well as a healthy full-year operating margin rate.”
Lowe’s shares are down more than 2% even after the company reported an earnings beat. The home improvement retailer said first quarter sales rose 24%, resulting in earnings per hare of $3.21 on revenue of $24.42 billion. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $2.62 on revenue of $23.86 billion. “Although all of us are looking forward to a post-COVID world,” Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison said, “our research tells us that the importance of the home will remain elevated for many years to come.”
And JetBlue announced that its first nonstop flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow will begin on August 11, will sales of the flights beginning today with round-trip fares starting as low as $599 for coach. “If you look at the direction the European countries are going, we would expect the travel restrictions to be alleviated as we step into the summer time frame. We think now is the right time. It’s an exciting time because when things reopen, people are going to have a pent-up desire to fly to London,” said President Joanna Geraghty. “We anticipate the airport is going to want us to stay once they see what we bring to Heathrow. It’s really important for airports to recognize that competition makes things healthier, competition drives demand.”
Stocks We’re Watching
Tattooed Chef Inc (NASDAQ: TTCF): Tattooed Chef shares rose as much as 10.8% yesterday after the company announced that it launched two of its original vegetable products in Whole Foods Market stores nationwide, its Organic Greens5 and Zucchini Spirals. “Whole Foods has been a terrific partner since 2010 and we are excited to officially launch our branded products in their stores,” said Sarah Galletti, Founder of the “Tattooed Chef.” “Our Organic Greens5 and Zucchini Spirals are delicious, and we can’t wait for you to try them.”