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BARK, Housing Stocks, the Banks: Three Things to Watch Into Happy Hour

From BARK's popularity with younger investors to housing data, here are some of the things that TheStreet's Katherine Ross is watching.

Well, hello there. 

I'm Katherine Ross and I'm TheStreet's resident correspondent and host. And now I'm going to be your favorite way to end the trading day. Well...maybe one of your favorites. I'm not trying to get ahead of myself here, after all. 

I want to give you three of the top things that caught my eye every day. Sometimes these will be stories or columns that my lovely colleagues write. Sometimes they'll be stocks that y'all are interested in. And sometimes it'll be news items that might have an impact on the markets. 

Either way, I want to make the end of the trading day fun and informative as you head to your happy hours or even just to snuggle up to your pet on the couch. 

So let's get started, shall we?

First Up: BARK

Okay, if we're being honest the Original BARK Co. is a company that I've been watching for a couple of months now. It completed its reverse merger with Northern Start Acquisition Corp to go public via Special Purpose Acquisition Company or SPAC (yes, companies are still doing that) in early June. 

It has a 52-week high of $19.54 and a low of $9.62.

In the past five days, it's been trading around $10.

The stock picked up interest on SwaggyStocks WallStreetBets ticker sentiment chart in mid-June, with positive sentiment towards the stock rising on June 10. But in the past couple of days--per SwaggyStocks--it's picked up some more positivity on the popular subreddit, but also has more negative sentiment than it has had previously. 

Aside from being popular with some Reddit investors, and being mentioned to me from Twitter, this stock intrigues me for other reasons. 

And I should put here that my puppy, Cronkite, is a BarkBox subscriber. But, my personal life isn't what's interesting here. Chewy  (CHWY) - Get Report went public in June of 2019 at roughly $22 a share. It now trades around $82 and is up around 83% this year. 

Then we have Petco  (WOOF) - Get Report, which also went public in January of 2021. The company trades around $22 currently, with a 52-week high of $31.08 and a low of $17.86. It's up around 2% in the past three months.

Now, let's circle back to BARK. With the crossover we're seeing between Chewy, Bark, and Petco between pet treats, toys, and food, I'm curious to see how the pet wars develop now that so many people own pets. 

 Earlier this month, Real Money's Tim Collins noted that Bark's stock has been developing a bit of a cult following. So, with the interest we're now seeing from the Reddit crowd, this is a name I'm eyeing closely. 

I want to make clear here that I'm not making stock picks. I'm here to inform you. 

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Let's Look at Housing Stocks

We saw a bit of a boost in Tuesday trading for the homebuilder stocks--such as Lennar  (LEN) - Get Report, KB Home  (KBH) - Get Report, and D.R. Horton  (DHI) - Get Report, after the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index did find that homes rose over 14% on an annual basis in April. This is the highest reading in over 30 years. 

This is another thing that I've been monitoring for months, as have many people I've been speaking to. 

We know that housing has heated up and that it's starting to worry economists and other experts. 

It's definitely a worry for my generation--millennials--who are now left wondering if this is a bubble or these types of housing bidding wars are here to stay. 

Heck, even the Federal Reserve President of Boston, Eric Rosengren, said, "You don’t want too much exuberance."

And, in case you missed Real Money's Stephen Guilfoyle's morning discussed Rosengren's comments. (And he has more to say about the Fed and the individual commentary from the presidents.)

Anyway, I have no hot takes here. I defer to my colleagues. But the top few stocks on my watchlist, for the time being, are home stocks (cough cough KB Home) to monitor investor sentiment.

And all of this comes with lumber bottoming a bit, something I talked about with Real Money's Chris Versace.

Oh, also, there's this: 30 Cities Where Rent Is Cheaper Than a Mortgage

And, Finally, the Banks

Some of the big banks announced a host of dividend increases and buyback plans linked to last week's Federal Reserve stress tests that freed up capital held by the country's largest lenders.

"The Fed, which introduced capital restrictions at the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year when banks were suffering billions in losses and many billions more in defaulted loans and credit card payments, said last week that capital buffers currently in place would allow the 23 largest banks to withstand a severe recession without putting shareholders or depositors at risk," noted TheStreet's Martin Baccardax earlier Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley  (MS) - Get Report said it will double its quarterly dividend to 70 cents a share, and buy back over $12 billion in shares in the next 12 months. 

Goldman Sachs increased its dividend to $2 per share. JPMorgan  (JPM) - Get Report boosted its dividend by 10 cents and said that it's buying $30 billion in buybacks over the next 12 months. 

"We are encouraged by the progress in reducing the capital intensity of our business as reflected in the recent stress test results," said Goldman CEO David Solomon. "The planned increase in our dividend demonstrates our confidence in the increasing durability of our franchise revenues and is consistent with our capital management framework of prioritizing investment in our client franchise and returning excess capital to shareholders." 

Citigroup  (C) - Get Report, however, only confirmed its previously announced 51 cents per shares dividend and reiterated its prior share repurchase.

But with banks gearing up for second-quarter earnings (JPMorgan and Wells Fargo  (WFC) - Get Report will report earnings on July 13), and inflation concerns on investors' minds, this sector will continue to be in focus.