When will the Game Stop, yields rise, US data, stocks stumble, euro rallies, bitcoin higher

The Reddit army of retail and obviously some big money traders appear to be at it again.  GameStop mania is back and this time no one has a strong indication on how this latest surge began.  The video game retailer short interest in January reached 140% but has since settled closer to 30%.   Last night, shares of GameStop more than doubled after the close and hit a high of USD200 a share.  The options market is once again seeing some insane prices for GameStop, with calls expiring the next day that are so far out of the money demanding over USD20 per option.

One thing is clear, the institutional money behind this move found options expiration as a pivotal opportunity that will make it easier for market disruption.  The violent price swings might remain elevated around options expirations for the Reddit-WallStreetBets crowd.  This round of stock market frenzy trading also impacted AMC, Koss Corp and Blackberry.

US Data

A nice drop in jobless claims comes with a caveat as the deep freeze in the South might have impacted the numbers.  Initial claims printed at 730,000, a decrease of 111,000 from the previous week’s revised level and a strong beat to the 825,000-consensus estimate.  Continuing claims also improved to 4.419 million, down from the upwardly revised prior reading of 4.52 million.

The durable goods order release painted a mixed picture for the manufacturing sector.  Business spending seems to be improving, with transportation leading the way.  Higher prices could become a greater problem in the coming months. Shortages in chips and Boeing’s woes could also weigh on the numbers over the next couple of months.

Pending home sales in January posted a surprise 2.8% decline, worse than the expected flat reading, and the revised higher prior reading of 0.5%.  The housing market rally has hit its peak.  Mortgage applications plummeted yesterday, and surging yields will definitely pour some cold water over the hot housing market.  The 30-year fixed rate has now risen from 2.85% in early December to 3.08%.

Stocks could face pressure from rising yields

Nothing in today’s data changes the script for the Fed or the Biden administration.  US stocks will continue to closely take its cue from the trajectory of Treasury yields.  If the 10-year Treasury hits 1.50% this week, it will be difficult to remain bullish even with small-cap stocks.  The Nasdaq will continue to lead the slide lower, while some investors will prefer to continue the rotation back into REITs, consumer staples, financials, and utilities.

FX

The euro is the top-performing currency on the day after a survey showed improved economic sentiment across industry, services, and the consumer.  The reopening of the eurozone economy however still has many questions as European regulators are once again reviewing their restrictions on who can get vaccinated.  The euro rally could be short-lived as US growth exceptionalism and demand for US Treasuries could remain strong in the short-term.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is rising after a Dubai private equity firm pledged a USD4.8 billion investment and after another wave of bullish cases are made at the Bloomberg Crypto Summit.  If Bitcoin keeps getting massive endorsements across the globe, like IBC Group’s USD4.8 billion investment, the liquidity crunch could send prices much higher.

The Bloomberg Crypto Summit will likely deliver a wave of optimism for the cryptoverse.  Ark Investment Management CEO Cathie Wood argued that bitcoin has trillions of dollars of market-cap potential, while Silver Lake co-founder Glenn Hutchins noted that cryptocurrency success will be determined on consumer adoption.

Bitcoin’s success will be determined on how fast corporate America embraces cryptos and on growing institutional interest.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Senior Market Analyst, The Americas at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a senior market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute intermarket analysis, coverage of geopolitical events, central bank policies and market reaction to corporate news. His particular expertise lies across a wide range of asset classes including FX, commodities, fixed income, stocks and cryptocurrencies. Over the course of his career, Ed has worked with some of the leading forex brokerages, research teams and news departments on Wall Street including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Yahoo! Finance Live, Fox Business and Sky TV. His views are trusted by the world’s most renowned global newswires including Reuters, Bloomberg and the Associated Press, and he is regularly quoted in leading publications such as MSN, MarketWatch, Forbes, Breitbart, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Ed holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.
Ed Moya