Volume is slowing, and volatility is picking up as trading winds down in front of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Traders are more anxious than usual for the holiday this year as it coincides with the end of many COVID pandemic restrictions and a return to normal.
There is still quite a bit of speculative trading taking place, but it is much choppier action. For example, Upstart Holdings (UPST) has been in a $14 range, and AMC Entertainment (AMC) has jumped around in about a $5 range. There isn't any news driving the action. It is just traders looking for some action in a favorable trading environment.
Breadth is running a little weaker Friday with around 4,200 gainers to 3,450 decliners, but there are over 400 new 12-month highs. Small-caps ( (IWM) ETF) are trading around flat after some early strength, but the FATMAAN names are helping the Nasdaq 100 ( (QQQ) ETF) outperform.
I see some interesting relative strength in biotechnology today, albeit on lower volume. Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUPH) , for example, continues to push straight up after hitting a low on May 11. A number of others such as Surface Oncology (SURF) , Gamida Cell (GMDA) , and Personalis (PSNL) are also acting well.
Cryptocurrencies have bounced a little after a weak start, but there is probably some nervousness about how they will trade this weekend with the equity markets closed. Last weekend there were very sharp selloffs in bitcoin and others, but much of it was recovered before stocks reopened for trading. Cryptos trade 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so if you are using stock market equivalents, you are locked out of the trading.
One name I've added to today is Mogo Fin Technology (MOGO) , which is buying a large stake in the Canadian equivalent of Coinbase Global (COIN) . I suspect MOGO will do well as the level of crypto trading continues to expand.
We'll see what develops as the day winds down, but many traders are already starting the weekend festivities.