Hope that the Russia-Ukraine conflict might see a negotiated end prompted a massive rally in the stock market on Wednesday. Bouncing back after losses earlier in the week, the Nasdaq climbed 3.6% and the S&P 500 posted a gain of 2.6%.
Cryptocurrencies also pushed higher, helped by the release of an executive order about the industry from President Joe Biden. Fueled by the general crypto strength, Marathon Digital (NASDAQ:MARA), Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT), Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) and MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) all posted substantial advances.
Elsewhere in the market, Bumble (NASDAQ:BMBL) represented another standout gainer. A reassuring earnings report allowed the stock to recover some of its recent losses.
Meanwhile, Voyager Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VYGR) added to the previous day’s massive climb with another major step higher. The follow-through rally, which came in the wake of a major licensing deal, took the stock to a 52-week high.
Sector In Focus
A surge in the cryptocurrency market prompted buying among stocks tied to the asset class. The gains came amid news of new executive order directing federal government agencies to look into the possible benefits and risks of crypto.
The order, from President Joe Biden, included a promise that the U.S. would “maintain technological leadership in this rapidly growing space.” Crypto investors interpreted the order as an acceptance of the asset class by U.S authorities and an indication that the government could bring healthy regulation to the market.
These gains carried over to crypto-related stocks. Marathon Digital (MARA) was among the standout performers in the group, rising by almost 15%.
Bumble (BMBL) attracted a rush of buying interest after its latest earnings report. The update soothed investor concerns about the impact Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would have on its business. The stock jumped 42% following the release of the financial figures, recovering a chunk of the massive losses it had posted recently.
On the surface, the online dating app issued shaky Q4 results, with a wider than expected loss for the quarter. Even so, the red ink was less pronounced this year compared to last year and the firm’s revenues climbed almost 26% to $208M.
The main catalyst for Wednesday’s rally came from the firm’s forecast that it will suffer just a $2M revenue reduction from suspending its operations in Russia and Belarus amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. This was less than analysts had feared.
Last week and early this week, speculation about the Russian impact sparked a series of declines, including two sessions with double-digit percentage slides.
The stock finished higher by about 3% on Tuesday, stabilizing after six consecutive sessions of declines. During the losing streak, BMBL had fallen about 38%. It also recently reached a 52-week low of $15.41
Following its earnings report, BMBL soared $6.98 on Wednesday to close at $23.64. However, the stock remains below its closing price on the last day of February. Meanwhile, shares have retreated over 60% in the past year.
A short call prompted a selling spree in Natera (NTRA). Hurt by the negative commentary, NTRA plunged almost 33%.
In a published note, Hindenburg Research accused the prenatal testing company of using “deceptive sales and billing practices.” The firm also called NTRA “starkly unprofitable.”
For its part, NTRA refuted the short call. In an email to Seeking Alpha, the firm called Hindenburg’s report “misleading,” calling its accuracy into question and alleging that the short seller was just out for quick profit.
NTRA slumped $17.95 on the day to finish at $36.80. During the session, the stock reached an intraday 52-week low of $26.10. Overall, shares have fallen 69% in the last six months.
Notable New High
Extending gains posted during the previous session amid news of a major licensing deal, Voyager Therapeutics (VYGR) posted another advance on Wednesday. The stock climbed 20% on the session to establish a fresh 52-week high.
VYGR jumped about 33% on Tuesday after the company revealed a license option agreement with Novartis (NYSE:NVS). The deal could be worth up to $1.7B, including potential milestone payments and option exercise fees. The partnership also includes possible sales-based royalties.
The stock followed up on its rally with another major climb Wednesday. VYGR rose $1.06 to close at $6.30. Shares have jumped over 70% in the last three sessions.
Notable New Low
Downbeat guidance included in the company’s quarterly results sparked a decline in Stitch Fix (SFIX). Shares of the online clothes buying service dropped 6% on the session and recorded a new 52-week low.
SFIX reported a quarterly loss that came in narrower than analysts had projected, with revenue that rose nearly 3% from last year to reach nearly $517M. The number of active clients also rose 4% from the previous year.
Looking ahead, however, the firm issued a disappointing forecast, saying it now projected revenue for the current quarter of $485M-$500M. Analysts were projecting a total closer to $559M.
Hurt by the outlook, SFIX plunged at the outset of Wednesday’s session. Shares reached an intraday 52-week low of $8.75 in the early stages of trading, representing a nearly 21% slide from the previous day’s close.
The stock rebounded during the middle of the day but still ended the day with losses. SFIX eventually closed $10.34, a decline of 67 cents on the session.
Longer-term, the stock reached a 52-week high of $75.78 back in June but suffered sustained selling pressure in the second half of 2021 and in the early months of this year. SFIX has dropped 86% since its peak.
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