Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today: The Stock Market Crawls, But Stocks Run Wild

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 set new highs with modest gains, but thrill seekers found what they wanted Monday in a number of 'short squeezes.'

The new week started like last week ended: The major indices mostly treaded water ahead of a robust earnings slate and a host of economic data releases, but a closer look revealed a number of spectacular moves.

GameStop (GME, +18.1%), which we mentioned last week has been shooting higher courtesy of a "short squeeze," did it again Monday – for a while. GME shares soared by as much as 145% before coming back to earth (relatively speaking, anyway), with several trading halts triggered along the way.

It wasn't alone. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY, +1.6%) and Dillard's (DDS, +9.3%) were among other heavily bet-against stocks that saw extreme midday rallies simmer before the close.

Those moves didn't do much to budge the major indices, however. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a small 0.1% decline to 30,960, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.7% to 13,635) and S&P 500 (+0.4% to 3,855) continued to discover new record territory.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The Russell 2000 declined by 0.3% to 2,163.
  • Gold futures slipped by 0.1% to $1,855.20 per ounce.
  • U.S. crude oil futures settled at $52.77 per barrel, a 1% improvement. 
  • Bitcoin prices, at $33,606 on Friday, slid marginally to $33,430. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
stock chart for 012521

What's Fueling This Particular Fire

Why are we seeing such massive speculative spikes right now? Several theories abound, but among them is the idea that there's a surplus of cash for investors to speculate with. 

"There's a large and growing amount of money in savings that is sloshing around and creating unpredictable movements in asset markets globally," says Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt, "and we suspect this may continue until economies re-open and this excess savings is diverted back into the real economy."

For those investing for more than just a few hours at a time, boring and simple still boast a stellar track record. Most mutual funds and exchange-traded funds do the trick in that, for a fee, they typically manage a broad array of assets for you. But leaning on index mutual funds and ETFs specifically adds a couple of benefits: namely cost savings and the reduction of "manager risk" – after all, there's something to be said for the S&P 500 continuously outperforming the majority of large-cap managers year after year.

If you want to keep it simple, and keep your costs down, it's hard to do better than Vanguard index funds. The low-cost pioneer does a lot of things right, and these seven index-tracking products can get you invested across thousands of stocks and bonds for a song. Check them out. 

Kyle Woodley was long Bitcoin as of this writing.

Most Popular

The 15 Best Stocks for the Rest of 2022
stocks to buy

The 15 Best Stocks for the Rest of 2022

The lesson of the past two years: Be ready for anything. Our 15 best stocks to buy for the rest of 2022 reflect several possible outcomes for the seco…
June 21, 2022
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
Retirement Comfort: How to Avoid Running Out of Money
retirement planning

Retirement Comfort: How to Avoid Running Out of Money

When it comes to retirement planning, one thing all of us worry about is whether we will have enough money to last. Financial professionals can help y…
June 25, 2022

Recommended

Micron Technology Earnings Expected to Show Strong Growth
stocks

Micron Technology Earnings Expected to Show Strong Growth

Our preview of the upcoming week's earnings reports includes Micron Technology (MU), Nike (NKE) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA).
June 27, 2022
Stock Market Today (6/24/22): Stocks Stick the Landing in Successful Short Week
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (6/24/22): Stocks Stick the Landing in Successful Short Week

Small hints that inflation might have peaked and that the U.S. might evade recession stoked broad buying Friday.
June 24, 2022
Could Buffett Buy Out Occidental (OXY)?
stocks

Could Buffett Buy Out Occidental (OXY)?

All in, Berkshire Hathaway now owns a third of energy firm Occidental Petroleum. One analyst thinks Buffett might make a play for the rest.
June 24, 2022
Kiplinger's Weekly Earnings Calendar
stocks

Kiplinger's Weekly Earnings Calendar

Check out our earnings calendar for the upcoming week, as well as our previews of the more noteworthy reports.
June 24, 2022