Stock futures surged in early trading Monday as Wall Street appeared to shake off concerns over the speculative retail frenzy that sparked the market’s worst weekly sell-off since October.
Futures contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 200 points. The S&P 500 futures rose 0.9% and the Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.1%. The moves came in a choppy session with the Dow futures falling as much as 300 points overnight.
GameStop, the brick and mortar video game retailer that was the focus of attention on Wall Street, was down about 2% in the premarket and trading was quieter than usual. Last week, the stock popular with retail investors on the Reddit forum WallStreetBets rose 400% in extreme trading volume and volatility.
“The return of volatility last week was more driven by market positioning than concerns about growth,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a note.
“Many institutions have adjusted their books to take account of the risks to short positions that have arisen from recent coordinated purchases by retail investors. However, given the speed and magnitude of flows over the past few days, we believe most of it the pressure is now behind us, “said Haefele.
All three major averages fell more than 3% last week as they had their worst weekly performance since October. The Dow and S&P also posted losses for January – the first negative month in four years – although the Nasdaq managed to post a profit for the month.
Many on Wall Street have been spooked by a multitude of retail investor activity in sharply shortened stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment, which fueled concerns over the general health of the market. Goldman Sachs noted that the current short squeeze is the worst in 25 years.
AMC rose another 18% in premarket trading after rallying 277% last week.
The Reddit boom seems to be spreading to other areas of the market as well. Futures contracts on silver rose 11%, the biggest one-day jump in 11 years. The Reddit chat room had several active topics devoted to silver on Sunday night. The phrase “#silversqueeze” was also trending on Twitter.
Still, some strategists believe it is unlikely that the effects of the brief shortages will penetrate Wall Street and derail the new bull market.
“Despite the uncertainty about the impact of rising prices in stocks with significant short interest, we do not see a 1998-style liquidity crisis,” said Sam Stovall, CFRA’s chief investment strategist, in a note. “While we believe the stock market needs to go through an expectation and valuation adjustment, we do not believe the bull has come to an end, nor do we recommend any changes to our S&P 500 target or asset allocation for End of year. “”
Meanwhile, a group of 10 Republican Senators sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Sunday asking him to consider a smaller, scaled-down Covid-19 aid proposal. Its current plan provides additional fiscal stimulus of $ 1.9 trillion.
The alternative proposal comes after House Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said the house would pass a budget resolution, the first step in approving laws through reconciliation. The process would allow Senate Democrats to approve a relief effort with no GOP votes.
99 S&P companies are waiting for another busy week of wins. Alphabet, Amazon, Alibaba, Snap, Exxon, Biogen, Pfizer, and Chipotle are among the names to be released in the coming week. Thursday is the busiest day of the winning season.
– CNBC’s Michael Bloom and Jacob Pramuk contributed to the coverage.
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