Cryptos Surge Higher, Rebounding From Yesterday’s Plunge

Plus, Ford officially unveiled its electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck, Virgin Galactic announced a new test flight for Saturday, weekly jobless claims fell to a new pandemic low, and Oatly shares debuted at $22.12.

Stocks were higher at the open on Thursday with the Dow adding 10 points, or less than 0.1%. The S&P 500 rose 0.15%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.4%.

The volatility in cryptos continues this morning with Bitcoin surging more than 12% to above $41,000 after falling as low as $30,000 yesterday. Ether is up more than 11% to $2,914.66, while XRP has gained 5% to $1.24. Dogecoin outperformed, spiking more than 16% to $0.41 after Tesla CEO Elon Musk called out the coin in a tweet. “How much is that Doge in the window?” Musk tweeted early Thursday. Yesterday’s sell-off in the crypto market appears to have been turbocharged by liquidations and leverage, with many traders having used borrowed money to boost their returns, with their positions sold automatically when prices dropped. “What causes such deeper pullbacks are a case of system overload, liquidations, and such factors,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia Pacific at Luno Pte. “Crypto is still a much ‘wilder West’ than any other asset class where you can trade on some exchanges for up to 50-100X leverage,” and “what we’ve seen is a big funding reset across exchanges due to over-leveraged traders.”

Ford officially unveiled its new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck late Wednesday, with pricing of between $40,000 and $90,000. The automaker already has taken in 20,000 reservations for the new F-150 in its first 12 hours. “This is an iconic moment for our industry,” CEO Jim Farley said. “We have over 20,000 orders in 12 hours since we revealed right here in Dearborn.” Ford also announced a joint venture with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation that will manufacture battery cells for electric vehicles in the U.S. by 2025. “As the industry changes, we have to insource now,” Farley said. 

Virgin Galactic shares are up more than 11% at the time of writing after the company announced its next spaceflight test for Saturday, following completed maintenance of its carrier aircraft. “Following a detailed inspection and thorough analysis of our mothership, Eve, we have cleared our Spaceflight System for our upcoming flight,” CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement. This weekend’s test will be crewed by two pilots and carry research payloads for NASA, and the company’s ew test schedule boosts Virgin Galactic’s chances of staying on track for commercial service later this year. Virgin Galactic has a roster of 600 ticket holders who have paid as much as $250,000 each for a suborbital flight, and said it will offer only “a finite number” of new tickets when it restarts sales. 

Weekly jobless claims fell to a fresh pandemic low. The Labor Department said initial claims came in at 444,000, while economists had expected a reading of 452,000. Continuing claims edged higher to 3.75 million, while the total of other receiving benefits across all programs fell by 900,000 to just under 16 million. “The April jobs report was disappointing… But the steady decline in initial unemployment insurance claims over the past few months, as well as other UI data, suggest that the April repot understated the improvement in the labor market,” said PNC chief economist Gus Faucher.

And Oatly shares have soared 27% in its IPO today. The stock’s opening trade was $22.12, above the company’s initial pricing of $17 per share, giving it a market value of $13.1 billion. The company that made oat milk a dairy aisle phenomenon is now eyeing vegan cheese as a new frontier for expansion, and said it is making “good progress” on developing a faux cheese product. Over the longer run, the company is considering creating a lineup of different oat-based cheese. “That is a really interesting area as well as that we’re looking into already today,” said CEO Toni Petersson. “Our innovation is not centered around milk only.”

Stocks We’re Watching

EuroDry Ltd (NASDAQ: EDRY): Drybulk transportation company EuroDry announced first quarter results this morning, as well as its agreement to acquire M/V Blessed Luck, a 76,704 dwt dfybulk vessel built in Japan. “In stark contrast to a year ago, it has been a very positive 2021 so far with drybulk rates rebounding significantly as a result of solid trade growth and limited supply growth. The latter, especially, is constrained by short and medium term factors: in the short term, by inefficiencies in the vessel-port transportation system that resulted from COVID-19 effects and required protocols and, in the medium term, by the lowest orderbook in the last 20+ years,” said Chairman and CEO Aristides Pittas. “We believe that the market is likely to remain strong for the next couple of years provided that demand for transportation of drybulk cargoes -which is generally linked to economic activity- will maintain at least a historically average growth rate; it is noteworthy that the IMF, amongst others, predicts that economic activity will rebound above historical average levels as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”