Stocks opened higher to kick off another week of Wall Street trading as the Federal Reserve's Jerome Powell prepares to speak virtually from Jackson Hole Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 178.04 points, the Nasdaq Composite was up 63.58 points and the S&P 500 was up 19.66 points.
Jim Cramer and Action Alerts PLUS senior analyst Jeff Marks discussed Bitcoin, PayPal (PYPL) - Get Free Report, Pfizer (PFE) - Get Free Report, GM's (GM) - Get Free Report Chevy Bolt, Tesla (TSLA) - Get Free Report and previewed the now-virtual Jackson Hole economic symposium.
Watch the full interview with TheStreet Live at 10:00 a.m. ET in the video below:
Bitcoin Breaks $50,000
For the first time since May, Bitcoin crossed $50,000 and remained higher following a weekend rally.
As of the opening of U.S. equities trading, the cryptocurrency was trading at $50,224.30.
Bitcoin hit a record high of $64,829 in April, per CoinDesk, before trading in the $30,000 to $40,000 range in the subsequent months as regulatory talk intensified.
In other cryptocurrency news, PayPal marked its first international expansion of services, allowing customers in the U.K. to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies beginning Monday following a similar U.S. service launch in March.
PayPal is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio.
FDA Grants Pfizer Vaccine Full Approval
Pfizer stock moved 2.24% higher to $49.80 after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the Pfizer and BioNtech (BNTX) - Get Free Report COVID vaccine.
Many on Wall Street and beyond hope full approval of the vaccine will help reduce levels of vaccine hesitancy.
Some also see full approval as a vehicle for businesses and governments to require vaccinations.
Jackson Hole Goes Virtual...Again
As many anxiously await any clues of upcoming Federal Reserve tapering, the Kansas City Fed announced Friday's economic symposium “Macroeconomic Policy in an Uneven Economy,” will be hosted virtually.
Fed chair Jerome Powell will now speak remotely as fears of the rapidly spreading delta variant of the coronavirus forced the in-person event to be moved online. The event was widely considered a sign of a 'return to normal' among the financial community.
“While we are disappointed that health conditions will prevent us from being able to gather in person at the Jackson Lake Lodge this year as we had planned, the safety of our guests and the Teton County community is our priority,” Kansas City Fed president Esther George said in a statement.
And the Fed's Powell isn't the only one working from home. On Real Money, Cramer noted that the continued impact of the delta variant could alter Wall Street's view of inflation, turning Powell from villain to hero.
"Going into Jackson Hole we have to be thinking not about how inflation is runaway but how deflation could be on the horizon much faster than we realize if the Fed pulls the rug out, which we know is just a matter of time. Right now the Chief seems like a pinata, theoretically beaten by the inflationistas.
I think it's just a matter of time for them to look like the fools and Jay Powell to look like a hero of our time."
Checking in on the EV Space
As investors continued to react to a Tesla AI event that left Wall Street thinking more iRobot than electric car, news from General Motors stole the show.
GM recalled all Chevrolet Bolt vehicles Friday following a National Highway Transit Safety Administration report of a risk of high-voltage battery pack fires.
The Friday recall adds about 73,000 Bolts from the 2019-2022 model years, expanding on earlier recalls of the company's 2017-2019 Bolts.
"In rare circumstances, the batteries supplied to GM for these vehicles may have two manufacturing defects - a torn anode tab and folded separator - present in the same battery cell, which increases the risk of fire." The company said it will "replace defective battery modules in Chevrolet Bolt EVs and EUVs with new modules, with an expected additional cost of approximately $1 billion," GM said in a statement.
As of the opening of trading Monday, GM stock was down 2.01% to $47.82.
Cramer Asks: What's With the Waffling in the Market?
As markets and the broader economy continues to try to gauge the impact of the delta variant, Cramer said investors now must confront a market that can change on a dime.
"Most markets do not change their stripes in 10 minutes. This market is not like most markets. It started out with a refreshing change of the semiconductors and tech leading and retail following, and then devolved into the fertilizers at the helm and a bedraggled group of disparate stocks not far behind,' Cramer wrote on Real Money Friday.