Major U.S. market indexes closed lower on Tuesday as investors sat tight, waiting for the Consumer Price Index report and the earnings report from JPMorgan, now the sort-of, unofficial kick-off to quarterly earnings seasons. The country’s biggest bank beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines, resulting in a tiny jolt to index futures that were already trading slightly higher.
Tuesday’s big stock story was not among our basket of meme stocks. Rather, it was the SPAC IPO of iron-flow battery maker ESS Inc. (NASDAQ: GWH). The company began trading publicly on Monday at around $8.50. Shares closed at $10.42 on the first day of trading and more than doubled on Tuesday to close at $23.80, up about 128% for the day. Shares traded down about 5.5% in Wednesday’s premarket, at around $22.50.
In late September, ESS signed a deal with Softbank’s SB Energy to supply 2 gigawatts of its iron-flow batteries for $300 million. The storage capacity of the batteries is large enough to supply 50,000 homes for a full day. ESS cannot become a proper meme stock until it has enough shares sold short to provide an opportunity for retail investors to threaten (at least) to squeeze the short sellers.
ESS raised some $308 million in the SPAC merger, including a PIPE investment led by such big names as Fidelity, Koch, Softbank and others.
Viking Energy, a majority-owned subsidiary of Camber Energy Inc. (NYSEAMERICAN: CEI), last week assigned all its interests in another energy producer, Ichor Energy, to TO Ichor 2021. According to Ichor’s June-quarter earnings report, the company’s assets totaled $822.45 million. Viking acquired its interests in Ichor in December of 2018. Those interests comprised approximately 58 producing wells, 31 saltwater disposal wells, 46 shut-in wells and four inactive wells. The transaction apparently repaid Ichor for a term loan made to Viking in December 2018 and removed some $66 million in Viking/Camber debt. Camber stock dropped by about 11.7% on Tuesday and traded up about 3.5% in Wednesday’s premarket.
Lordstown Motors Corp. (NASDAQ: RIDE) added more than 7% to its share price on Tuesday. The company had no specific news Tuesday, but Wednesday morning announced that it had appointed a new chief financial officer, Adam B. Kroll, who joined hydrogen-powered truck maker Hyzon in March of 2020 as chief administrative officer. Lordstown’s stock added about 1.4% in Wednesday’s premarket trading.
Vinco Ventures Inc. (NASDAQ: BBIG) jumped by nearly 20% on Tuesday and traded at $6.70, up another 5.2%, in Wednesday’s premarket session. The company has had no specific news since last week, but WallStreetBets investors were pumped Wednesday morning.