Tuesday looked like it was going to be an exciting follow-up to Monday’s robust up-day, but early gains quickly deteriorated into losses, including a 0.07% dip for the S&P 500. And those losses look ready to accelerate as we head into Wednesday’s early action thanks primarily because of more tumult from the White House.
While the morning ramps up with news out of the earnings sector, a few stocks are consolidating big moves this morning, including BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY). The broader market itself could get interesting, too, as measured by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY).
Here’s what you need to know.
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)
U.S. stock futures were down by more than half a percent Wednesday morning in the aftermath of Tuesday’s breathtaking allegations that President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey back in February, “I hope you can let this go,” referencing the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn.
The White House denied that anything of the sort was said, but for now, the three key words that everyone is now focused on are “obstruction of justice.”
Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense that requires the government to establish a few things, most notably that “the defendant corruptly endeavored to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which the proceeding was pending.” Legal analysts are debating whether, if what Comey said is true, what Trump said would constitute this federal offense.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has told the FBI to hand over anything relating to discussions between the president and Comey.
The market is starting to show signs of wear and tear in response. The U.S. dollar slipped against both the yen and the euro, and the SPY is off a fraction of a percent, reflecting similar movement in U.S. stock futures.
BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY)
BBRY shares are starting to consolidate a little of their recent hot run, sparked by a number of bullish drivers.
BlackBerry stock is up more than 45% since the company’s March 31 earnings report, which did include a decline in revenue, but also a 4-cent adjusted profit that beat expectations for a breakeven quarter. BBRY then received another boost in early April when the company earned a $814.9 million arbitration award from Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) in a dispute over the latter’s royalty cap program.
However, BlackBerry has been jolted again over the past two days, climbing nearly 9% in the wake of the WannaCry malware outbreak. The reason? While many people still associate BlackBerry with its once-prominent hardware business, the company has shifted toward software and services … including cybersecurity.
For instance, BBRY is targeting internet of things cyber defense via a partnership with Allied World Assurance, and its tools are expected to be available soon.
Late yesterday, Macquarie analyst Gus Papageorgiou also said that BlackBerry is working with a pair of automakers on a vehicle virus detection system. As a note, though — while Papageorgiou called out Aston Martin and Range Rover as the partners, neither they nor BlackBerry acknowledged such a project.
BBRY stock is cooling off this morning, off 2% and working off some overbought conditions.
Etsy Inc (ETSY)
ETSY shares are getting the hose this morning too after a one-day jump of more than 21%.
TPG Group Holding Advisers and Dragoneer Investment Group revealed a joint 8% stake in the online marketplace provider yesterday. Moreover, the two groups said they have urged Etsy “to engage in discussions regarding strategic alternatives.”
Etsy CEO Josh Silverman, who was elevated just a couple weeks ago on May 2 alongside an announcement that the company would be laying off 8% of its staff, appears to be on board. In a release, the CEO wrote:
“We are now reviewing our strategic and operational plans to ensure Etsy is focused on the most value-enhancing near- and long-term opportunities. We will prudently invest in areas that will deliver the greatest returns.”
The announcement shot Etsy into the black for the first time since March, and well above its 200-day moving average around $12.50. And though the stock is enjoying a roughly 60% rebound in the past 52 weeks, shares still are sitting at about half their value since the stock’s first day of trading back in April 2015.
ETSY shares are off 2% this morning, also working off rare overbought conditions in its Relative Strength Index (RSI).
As of this writing, Robert Martin did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.