Advisors in Focus- February 14, 2021

A Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. We hope that you and your loved ones are able to relax, enjoy the day and, in many areas, stay out of the cold! Markets and investors continued their torrid love affair last week as indices closed at or near all-time highs with the S&P gaining +0.60%, the Nasdaq rising +0.67%, and the Dow edging higher by +0.19%. The narrative of vaccine rollouts, strong earnings, and stimulus on the fiscal and monetary front remains a key tailwind for markets. Valuations lurk but remain in the backdrop.

The upcoming holiday-shortened week (Reminder- no need to set the alarm tomorrow for President’s Day!) promises to be interesting as we remain engrossed in earnings highlighted by the likes of Shopify (SHOP), Baidu (BIDU), Hilton (HLT), Twilio (TWLO), and Walmart (WMT). The economic calendar is full with a focus on sentiment surveys- Empire, NAHB, Philly Fed, and preliminary PMI numbers-, Retail Sales, and Housing data. The Fed minutes from the January meeting, released Wednesday afternoon, will also garner plenty of attention.

Judging from the searches by your clients in the retail sector, we should expect plenty of interest around Thursday’s Capitol Hill hearing when Citadel founder Ken Griffin, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, and executives from Reddit and Melvin Capital testify at a House hearing. The discussions around order flow will be of particular interest as market participants will try to determine what steps the government may take.

TrackStarIQ Data

Here are some highlights from Retail searches this week –

RankTOP STOCKS – BY Retail (Total Traffic) This Past WeekTickerTOP STOCKS- BY RETAIL (Surge Traffic) This Past WeekTickerTOP ETFs By RETAIL (Total Traffic) This Past Week Ticker
1Sundial Growers IncSNDLChina Liberal Education Holdings LtdCLEUSPDR S&P 500 ETFSPY
2Amc Entertainment Holdings IncAMCRolls Royce Holdings plcRLLCFProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term FuturesUVXY
3Tilray IncTLRYProthena CorpPRTAARK Innovation ETFARKK
4Churchill Capital Corp IV Cl ACCIVMonopar Therapeutics IncMNPRInvesco QQQQQQ
5Ocugen IncOCGNAC Immune S.A.ACIUETFMG Alternative Harvest ETFMJ
6Tesla IncTSLAHubspot IncHUBSiShares Silver TrustSLV
7Castor Maritime IncCSTMPower REITPWiShares Russell 2000 ETFIWM
8Zomedica Pharmaceuticals CorpZOMImmunogen IncIMGNARK Fintech Innovation ETFARKF
9Healthier Choices Management Corp.HCMCAmicus TherapeuticsFOLDARK Genomic Revolution ETFARKG
10Gamestop CorpGMEQuicklogic CorpQUIKVanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETFSMH
11Apple IncAAPLR C M Tech IncRCMTiPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETNVXX
12Globalstar IncGSATArtelo Biosciences IncARTLEnergy Select Sector SPDR FundXLE
13Nio IncNIONu Skin EnterprisesNUSDirexion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3x SharesSOXL
14Naked Brand Group IncNAKDWah Fu Education Group LtdWAFUiShares Global Clean Energy ETFICLN
15Aphria IncAPHAION Geophysical CorpIOProShares UltraPro QQQTQQQ
16Visa IncVEssa PharmaEPIXARK Web x.0 ETFARKW
17Storage Computer CorpSOSOMuscle Maker IncGRILInvesco Solar ETFTAN
18Sos LtdSOS Galmed PharmaceuticaGLMDTechnology Select Sector SPDR FundXLK
19Tesoro Enterprises, Inc.TSNPIfresh IncIFMKSPDR Gold TrustGLD
20Bionano Genomics IncBNGOSvmk IncSVMKGlobal X Cannabis ETFPOTX

As mentioned above, the Robinhood/Reddit focus names remained at the top of the list for most searched stocks by retail. Cannabis names were also en vogue as the group became the latest retail fascination. The cannabis space will be in focus tomorrow and, rather than rehearse the lines around the GME and AMCs of the world again, we wanted to take a look at a couple of other stocks that were occupying your client’s time which is not garnering as much mainstream press. 

  • Churchill Capital Corp IV (CCIV); #4 in retail total traffic- A SPAC play that has garnered interest and surged after the close of trade on Friday. CCIV has been rumored to be in talks to merge with luxury electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors. Shares of CCIV were trading at $11 on January 15 but have rallied 250% as rumors of this deal heat up. The original deal was reported to be approximately $15 bln but the deal is now on pace to be worth nearly $60 billion with the surge in CCIV shares. This stock will continue to be volatile as we await signs of a deal. To say the valuation is forward-looking would be an understatement.

  • China Liberal Education (CLEU); #1 in retail surge traffic- One of the hottest areas in the market the past two weeks has been Chinese-related Education/Training stocks (WAFU, FEDU, ZCO, etc). Shares of CLEU would find themselves in focus as the stock rallied from $4 to $9 on Friday. The rally was on heavy volume as $100 million shares changed hands on Friday, compared to the company’s daily trading volume average of 430,000. There was no news accompanying the move but the stock was the target of a couple of chat rooms according to reports. With a float of only 2.7 million shares, this is a name that could continue to see volatility in the coming days. We would be very cautious around these plays, but we wanted to highlight as you may find yourself being asked by clients about this name.

  • Prothena Corp (PRTA); #3 in retail surge traffic- Prothena is a pharmaceutical play best known for its collaboration with Roche for prasinezumab, a drug treatment for Parkinson’s disease. On Thursday, PRTA provided its latest earnings results for the fourth quarter as well as updates on its latest test phase results, and financial guidance. The results were encouraging as evident by the stock breaking out above the $15 level to rally to $22.85 to close out the week. The move was further bolstered by an announcement from OrbiMed Capital that it had taken a 4% stake in the company and an upgrade at Jefferies to Buy as well as a price target increase to $30 from $15. 

  • AC Immune (ACIU); #5 in retail surge traffic- ACIU saw volatility in its stock at the end of the week as the company announced interim results from its ongoing Phase 1b/2a clinical trial evaluating its first-in-class anti-phospho-Tau vaccine candidate ACI-35.030 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. ACIU is partnered with Johnson & Johnson’s Jensen Pharmaceutical unit to help produce the drug. For FA’s interested in Alzheimer’s drugs we would also focus on Biogen (BIIB) which has its aducanumab under review at the FDA with a decision on the drug due by June 7. We would note there are some concerns around ACIU as UBS recently downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy on February 1.

  • HubSpot (HUBS); #7 in retail surge traffic- An impressive chart and the stock surged to new all-time highs after reporting a strong fourth quarter that saw it beat bottom-line EPS by 17 cents and outpacing revenue by approximately 7% on 35% year-over-year growth. HUBS also issued upside guidance for FY21. The results were good enough to draw two upgrades as Raymond James raised it to a Strong Buy while Mizuho moved it to a Buy. Mizuho stated that, while it was positive about HUBS long-term opportunity as a leading customer relationship management platform for Server Message Block (SMBs), they were concerned about near-term growth due to subscription downgrades. and discount promotions. However, this quarter helped erase those concerns. As with so many names in the cloud computing space HUBS remains expensive trading at 24x Price to Sales.

  • Power REIT (PW); #8 in retail surge traffic- This one stuck out to us as it is in an interesting space and has a chart that suggests there could be more upside. PW is a REIT that owns infrastructure assets including properties for Controlled Environment Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation Power. On Wednesday, PW announced the closing of a rights offering where it sold 1.38 million of the Trust’s common share at a subscription price of $26.50, raising a gross of $36 million. The proceeds will be used to make additional acquisitions in the cannabis spaces. PW is very similar to Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR) which has seen a massive run since last May as expectations around cannabis rise under the Biden administration. 

We will continue to delve further into the cannabis space in tomorrow’s Advisors in Focus as it was a popular search for both Retail and Financial Advisors.

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