10 things before the opening bell

Welcome to 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

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Let’s get into it. 


1. Retail investor power is waning. A little over a year after sending GameStop to the moon, individual traders aren’t exerting the same force on the stock market. Their influence is in decline, according to JPMorgan, as the meme-stock rally fades and the high-growth shares that juiced so many portfolios lose steam.

The bank found Robinhood’s share of stock market transactions fell to levels last seen before the pandemic. JPMorgan also observed a decline in trading activity at other retail brokerages like E*Trade and Charles Scwab, which would suggest there is less interest in the stock market now compared to early on in the pandemic, when retail traders first sparked the meme-stock craze. 

As the economy reopens and some sense of normalcy returns, many pandemic-era traders are ditching individual stocks and risky options in favor of more traditional equity funds. 

Even Reddit’s Wall Street Bets, which has over 11 million members, has seen a dip in daily activity. The decline coincides with the dramatic downturn in high-growth stocks that gave generous returns in 2020. 

“It is clear that US retail activity had peaked at the beginning of 2021 with diminishing peaks since then,” JPMorgan said.


2. Stocks are tumbling as tensions flare in Europe. With Russian troops massing on Ukraine’s borders, investors are piling into the likes of gold, the Swiss franc and bonds. Take a look at what’s happening across the markets today.

3. Market technician Helene Meisler has taught everyone from Wall Street pros to investing newcomers for 25 years. She told Insider why she still charts 200 stocks a day by hand — and revealed her must-watch indicator right now.

4. Earnings on deck: Kelly Services, Amtech Systems, and Advance Auto Parts, all reporting. 

5. Bank of America said the Fed is “desperately behind-the-curve” in fighting inflation. The bank doesn’t see a “Fed put” coming into play unless the S&P 500 falls to 3,800. Still, investors are bracing for the possibility of an emergency rate hike this month. 

6. Gary Vaynerchuk explains the value of NFTs, and why he thinks 98% of projects will fail. The viral star and entrepreneur said digital assets are “grossly misunderstood.” Two experts explained their predictions for the nascent space — and why GaryVee could be right.

7. Markets are waking up to the likelihood the Fed will make a policy mistake, according to Mohamed El-Erian. The famed economist said if the Fed moves too quickly on rate decisions, it will be a “lose-lose” situation for the stock market and the economy. Here’s what to know.

8. Crypto M&A volume jumped nearly 5,000% in 2021. The average deal size tripled in value, according to data from accounting firm PwC. The typical transaction size went from $52.7 million to a whopping $179.7 million.

9. Inflation keeps punishing portfolios, but three market experts say recession fears are overblown. Strategists said that the Fed must be aggressive, but don’t expect a


recession

to follow. They recommended seven stocks with significant pricing power.

10. The managers of a biotech fund that has beaten nearly 70% of its peers over the last 10 years forecasted trends for a post-Covid world. They anticipate a fresh upswing for biotech stocks, though some will fare better than others. Here are their three stock picks set to surge.


Compiled by Phil Rosen. Feedback? Email prosen@insider.com or tweet @philrosenn.

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