US stocks opened lower on Thursday after inflation increased to 8% last year, leaving little doubt that the US Federal Reserve will likely hike interest rates in the near future. The soaring inflation rates have been driven higher by fuel, food and housing costs, and alarmingly come from before the latest rocket in gas prices.
Oil and gold are both higher, while Bitcoin has fallen by almost 7% over the last 24 hours.
Here are some of Thursday's trending stocks:
Natera (NASDAQ: NTRA)
Natera is the talk of the town on Thursday after the company’s share price tumbled by more than 30% in yesterday’s session.
The fall follows the release of a report by short sellers Hindenburg Research, which claimed to show that NTRA’s revenue growth has been “fueled by deceptive sales and billing practices aimed at doctors, insurance companies and expectant mothers”.
However, Natera has since dismissed the report as misleading.
The cell-free DNA testing specialists have released a statement in response, casting it as an “attempt to make a quick profit by short sellers Hindenburg Research” and asserting that the group is under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice for illegal trading tactics.
Natera’s shares are up by almost 20% in early trading, so it looks like it has stopped the rot.
AST Spacemobile (NASDAQ: ASTS)
ASTS saw its share price shoot for the moon in yesterday’s action after the company announced a multi-launch agreement with SpaceX. The agreement will cover the planned summer launch of ASTS’s BlueWalker 3 test satellite, the launch of the first BlueBird satellite and provides a framework for future launches.
The business is constructing the first and only space-based cellular broadband network to be accessible by smartphones. As such, these satellite launches are hugely important to the company’s future success.
The stock rocketed almost 45% higher on Wednesday, though looks set to fall back in trading today.
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (NYSE: ZIM)
This Israeli international cargo shipping company is enjoying a moment in the sun following a positive earnings update. ZIM declared a $17 dividend after its fourth quarter earnings per share of $14.17 beat analyst expectations.
ZIM’s carried volumes increased by more than 20% across the full year, far outstripping global volume growth of 7%. Additionally, the business said its decision to prioritize better-paying cargo and undertaken initiatives to capitalize on the e-commerce group had allowed it to pursue higher annual contract rates.
The strong earnings sent the company’s share price up by more than 6% on Wednesday and is continuing with modest gains on Thursday morning.
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE: CLF)
Steelmaker Cleveland Cliffs Inc has been generating chatter too. The company, which is the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America, saw its share price climb by more than 30% in February due to escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
This is because both countries are major suppliers of pig iron to US steelmakers, so many could now be facing supply difficulties. However, CLF is an outlier because it has the capability to produce steel without pig iron.
With the conflict between the two nations continuing investors might be optimistic that the company can capitalise on this strong position. It should be noted that the business is shutting several production lines from the end of next week for maintenance, which is expected to last through to June.
Crowdstrike (NASDAQ: CRWD)
This cybersecurity firm's shares climbed by nearly 15% in early trading after it grabbed investors' attention with strong results and upbeat guidance for the coming year. The company said its revenue hit $431m for the fourth quarter, significantly ahead of analyst expectations of around $411m, while EPS of 30 cents per share also topped projections.
The company has benefited from great success in rapidly expanding its customer base, which grew by 65% over the last 12 months to reach 16,325.
For the coming period, Crowdstrike projected revenue of $2.133bn to $2.163bn, which was again well ahead of analyst expectations.