What Did the Stock Market Do Today? 3 Big Stories to Catch Up On.

Wall Street has a lot on its mind, and you can tell with just a quick look at the major indices. Talks of vaccines, chip shortages, Covid-19 stimulus payments, gas station bans and deepfake videos of Tom Cruise are dominating conversation (some topics more than others). With all of this in mind, what did the stock market do today? And what else do you need to know?

Street sign for Wall Street pictured in front of several American flags representing american stocksSource: Shutterstock

To start, the S&P 500 closed lower by 0.81%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.46%. The Nasdaq Composite also closed lower, by 1.69%. Top movers included Rocket Companies (NYSE:RKT), propelled by easing 10-year Treasury yields and a short squeeze rally. Other names gaining investor attention included Nio (NYSE:NIO), Target (NYSE:TGT) and NanoViricides (NASDAQ:NNVC), which was up on Covid-19 news.

So where did these top tickers come from? Dive in with InvestorPlace for some of the biggest headlines in the stock market today.

What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Get a Little High.

Cannabis stocks recently entered another slump. Bulls rejoiced when President Joe Biden took the White House, and when Georgia elected two Democrats and secured a Senate majority. New Jersey legalized recreational cannabis use in late February, without great fanfare.

It seems that without federal legalization, the path is just a little too murky.

However, investors saw a ray of sunshine on Tuesday. With a delayed reaction to weekend news, cannabis stocks rallied in intraday trading. Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA), Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) and Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL) were some of the names swept up in the frenzy. Headlines declared a recreational cannabis victory in Virginia, the first U.S. state in the south to make such a legislative move.

While it does not address federal-level concerns, some bulls may see it as a concrete step in the right direction. Virginia coming on board shows a major pendulum swing, as InvestorPlace contributor Chris MacDonald wrote today. And if bulls are lucky, it will quickly be followed by action at the national level.

Automakers Are Very Hungry for Chips

The chip shortage of 2021 continues to plague automakers.

With supply-demand imbalances continuing, more companies are announcing production cuts in everything from electric vehicles to gaming consoles to personal tech devices. Biden recently signed an executive order calling on the U.S. to take a closer look at semiconductor supply chains. While this bodes well for semiconductor stocks, it is creating victims elsewhere.

Today, Nio (NYSE:NIO) fell under the weight of the chip shortage. During its fourth-quarter earnings release, the Chinese electric vehicle company shared that the shortage would weigh on its production. For the growth-focused company, this seriously spooked investors. Prior to the announcement, Nio was targeting 2021 vehicle production of 100,000 cars. That is up from just over 40,000 in 2020, and represents the growth that investors want. And unfortunately, Nio was already a company raising concerns over its production capacity.

Although NIO stock took a blow today, investors need to realize that it is far from alone. Other hard-hit companies include Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY), General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Toyota (NYSE:TM).

One more semiconductor story to watch? The Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X Shares (NYSEARCA:SOXL) exchange-traded fund saw some funky action. Turns out that a 15-for-1 stock split went into effect, and data providers were late to catch up. However, popularity in the leveraged ETF shows just what is at stake for semiconductor companies and their many customers.

Everyone Loves Social Media… Until They Hate It

You probably just finished explaining Reddit to your grandma.

That fact alone speaks to the power of social media. What role did the popular subreddit r/WallStreetBets play in the GameStop (NYSE:GME) saga? Is it something that regulators and lawmakers need to be worried about? Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren called out the Reddit action when introducing her ultra-millionaire wealth tax. Gary Gensler and Rohit Chopra prepped to answer questions about that same topic during their Senate testimonies today. Keith Gill, also known as Roaring Kitty, is no longer a registered financial broker.

In other words, it is clear that the powers that be know that social media is influential.

One exchange-traded fund promises to take advantage of that to help you profit. Today, Dave Portnoy sparked a ton of excitement over the VanEck Social Sentiment ETF (NYSE:BUZZ). The fund will use data on social media sentiment to determine its holdings. As interest in the BUZZ ETF starts buzzing, you should start paying attention. The fund debuts on Thursday.

On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. 

Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com. 

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