Morning Reads


Todays Open Interest Change




The next leap forward for the space tourism industry has arrived as Virgin Galactic (SPCE) announced the beginning of commercial operations as soon as June 27. The flight, called Galactic 01, will include three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy, who will conduct microgravity research with scientific payloads. It'll also herald the start of monthly flights of private astronauts that should begin in early August.

Market movement: Numerous delays, technical challenges and market froth have seen Virgin Galactic's stock dwindle in value since notching an all-time high of nearly $60 in 2021. The latest news saw shares rocket nearly 44% to $5.84 in AH trading on Thursday, erasing a 7% loss during the regular session. Of note, short interest on SPCE stands at 23.94% of the total float, while the 52-week trading range stands between $2.98 and $8.56. Seeking Alpha analyst Ivan Lee recently issued a cautious appraisal of Virgin Galactic after considering revenue projections and technology, adding that "the numbers don't seem to add up for at least the next 3 to 4 years."

The developments come nearly two years after Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos in the suborbital space tourism race. Blue Origin's (BORGN) New Shepard vehicle hasn't launched since September 2022, when it suffered a booster-related issue during an uncrewed flight. Virgin Galactic is set to launch its flights out of Spaceport America in New Mexico, catering to the super-rich with deep pockets. Tickets are currently priced at $450K for a 90-minute flight that includes several minutes of weightlessness, though an initial batch of 800 tickets went for around $200K each. What is the Karman line and why is it important?

Outlook: Congress has restricted the FAA from regulating the safety of commercial space flights since 2004 to help the sector develop without heavy compliance costs. Crews today fly under a regime known as "informed consent," meaning potential astronauts take on similar risks to skydivers and bungee jumpers. The policy has been extended several times over the years and the latest moratorium lasts until October 1. Is point-to-point space travel a reality in the near future? (4 comments)

Hungry for harissa

Cava (CAVA) traded at more than double its IPO pricing level yesterday as investors gobbled up the first restaurant IPO since Sweetgreen (SG) in November 2021. The Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant currently has a market capitalization of $4.88B, giving it a higher valuation than big industry names including Wendy's (WEN) and Shake Shack (SHAK), among others. SA analyst Kingdom Capital said the IPO is expensive, but called Cava's restaurant-level metrics "intriguing". (22 comments)

Marking the spot

BlackRock (BLK) has filed paperwork with the SEC to establish a spot bitcoin ETF to be known as the iShares Bitcoin Trust. Coinbase (COIN) has been named custodian for the fund's bitcoin (BTC-USD) holdings. If approved, the ETF would be the first on the market dedicated to bitcoin, though many others have tried over the years, including Grayscale and ARK Invest. The news comes after the top cryptocurrency slid below $25,000 for the second time in three months amid an uncertain regulatory environment. (79 comments)

ChatGPT auto

In the first implementation of ChatGPT in vehicles, Microsoft (MSFT) is partnering with German automaker Mercedes-Benz (OTCPK:MBGAF) to test the AI software in its cars. The optional beta program for U.S. customers will start today for over 900K vehicles. Microsoft has been upgrading its products with AI, which has helped push its stock higher. Shares rose 3.2% to a record close on Thursday, in step with other tech stocks that have capitalized on the AI wave. (7 comments)

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan +0.7%. Hong Kong +1.1%. China +0.6%. India +0.7%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +1%. Frankfurt +0.4%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.1%. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude -0.5% to $70.49. Gold +0.3% to $1,977.40. Bitcoin +2.7% to $25,532.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 3.73%.

Today's Economic Calendar

10:00 Consumer Sentiment
1:00 PM Baker Hughes Rig Count

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

Fed, SEC probe Goldman's (GS) role in SVB's (OTCPK:SIVBQlast days.

ECB hikes key rate by another quarter point as inflation remains too high.

Atlanta Fed's Bostic discloses trading violations during blackout period.

GameStop's (GME) Ryan Cohen blasts execs that only 'rest and vest'.

Intel (INTC) nears deal for $10.8B in subsidies for German chip plant.

Adobe (ADBE) rises as it boosts full-year outlook after strong Q2 results.

Micron (MU) plans $604M investment in China facility despite crackdown.

DOJ probing PGA Tour's merger with LIV Golf over antitrust concerns.

Manchester United (MANU) gains as Qatari bidder negotiates exclusivity.

U.S. crop futures surge across the board as drought conditions spread.

Putting a number to Tesla's (TSLA) new Supercharger-for-all business

Known to most as Uranium Pinto Beans, Jason has more than 15 years under his belt of trading stocks, options and currencies. His expertise primarily lies in chart analysis, and he has a strong eye for undervalued stock. Because he’s got the ability to identify great risk/reward trades he usually enjoys taking the path less traveled and reaping the benefits from the adventure.

He is a co-founder of Option Millionaires, and he is best known for his weekly webinars with Scott, as well as his high level training webinars and charts found in the forums.

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