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Virgin Galactic, Jobs and Bitcoin: 3 Things to Watch Into Happy Hour

Virgin Galactic's stock--and the billionaire space race--the June jobs report and the recent news around Bitcoin ETFs are in focus for TheStreet's Katherine Ross on Friday, July 2.

It's finally Friday. 

And it's a holiday weekend, as well!

After two days straight of talking about Robinhood, I'm ready to dig into some other topics...and definitely curious to talk about cryptocurrency.

In case you missed it, catch Thursday's 3 Things to Watch Into Happy Hour here

The Billionaire's Race to Space

It's Jeff Bezos vs. Richard Branson. 

And by that, in case you missed it, I'm talking about the face that Virgin Galactic announced on Thursday, July 1 that it would be sending Branson and five other crew members into space just 11 days before Bezos is set to take off.

"The “Unity 22” mission will be the twenty-second flight test for VSS Unity and the Company’s fourth crewed spaceflight. It will also be the first to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin, including the Company’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, who will be testing the private astronaut experience," the company said. 

So, let's dig into the stock. Virgin Galactic has been popular among Reddit investors and I'm not just talking about recent popularity. I saw posts about Virgin Galactic before the GameStop short squeeze became so wildly popular. 

This has been a stock that's been brought up to me multiple times when I take the temperature of investors on Twitter.

But while it may still be popular with younger investors, it doesn't seem to be too popular with Real Money's Bruce Kamich. 

Let's check on the charts of SPCE. "In our last review on March 26, where my advice was "In our October review we said, 'If we look hard enough we can find some positive signals on the charts of SPCE but that is not the way I try to find recommendations.' The charts are mixed now which I guess is an improvement but they still do not inspire me to be a buyer. I guess I will continue to spend my tourist dollars on hotels in the Caribbean," Kamich wrote. 

Essentially, Kamich said, "The charts of SPCE have shown that this stock can turn on a dime. It looks like a good time to take profits in SPCE if you have them."

So, to gauge the feeling around the stock, I took a look not only at the cashtag of the stock on Twitter, but also Swaggy Stocks, Memeberg Terminal, and r/WallStreetBets. 

If you look at the sentiment chart on SwaggyStocks, then you can see that there's a lot of positive sentiment driving SPCE, but there's a small--yet noteworthy--amount of negative sentiment too. 

Overall though, it looks like, throughout June, there has been constant positive sentiment--even if it didn't truly pick up until late last week.

Market Rebellion, on Twitter, posted about the options activity on the stock ahead of the close. The tweet was sent out at 2:15 pm E.T.

In the past five days, the stock is down around 19%, but if you look at the past year, it's up 177%. 

WSB, on the other hand, seems to be quite positive. I actually saw a fair amount of comments saying that people were taking some profit in the stock. 

So, this is a stock I'll continue to watch now that we're seeing the 21st-century version of the space wars heat up. Can't wait to hear about Tesla CEO Elon Musk's plan to go to space. And, no, I'm not being sarcastic. 

Turning Our Attention to the Jobs Report

Yeah, yeah, you've probably heard a number of hot takes on the June report. 

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So let's not bother you with more, unless you haven't seen my thoughts

Anyway, we did see a beat on the jobs report with over 850,000 jobs added last month. We did see the unemployment rate tick up unexpectedly to 5.9%. 

What stood out to me, personally, was this paragraph.

"In June, employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 343,000, as pandemic-related restrictions continued to ease in some parts of the country. Over half of the job gain was in food services and drinking places (+194,000). Employment also continued to increase in accommodation (+75,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+74,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 2.2 million, or 12.9 percent, from its level in February 2020," the Bureau of Labor Statistics wrote.

The reason for my interest should be obvious. With so much commentary lingering around labor market and how unemployment benefits could be preventing workers from returning to jobs with lower pay, I'm closely listening for economist and Federal Reserve commentary on wage growth. 

And, with the pandemic unemployment benefits starting to expire or being tossed in some states, how will that impact the next few jobs reports?

That's probably going to be my most asked question this month if we're being honest with each other. 

Alright, enough of me. What do others think about this report?

"I have seen some commentators point out the weak Household Survey number (-18,000) as some kind of evidence that maybe the +850,000 payroll gain isn't telling the whole story. However, anyone who has seriously followed these employment reports over the years knows better. The Household Survey is notoriously volatile. There were three negative months in 2019 and a negative 619,000 in 2018. None of these were "real" in the sense that they were lasting. Just noise. Ignore it," Real Money's Tom Graff wrote.

"...A reminder as to why labor supply is so important. Inflation stemming from a tight labor market is likely to persist even after all the COVID-related supply chain problems are solved. So determining how big the real labor pool helps us know just how tight the jobs market is. Second, once we truly run out of workers, that is a sign that the cycle is getting closer to an end. The economy just can't keep growing at a rapid pace unless new people are being employed," he continued. 

So, I guess I'm going to end with the cliche of: It's all about next month's jobs report.

Finally, Time for a Crypto Catch Up

Since starting this article, I haven't once had the time to mention crypto. So let's end on Bitcoin.

It currently trades around $33,000. 

I want to kind of recap what we saw earlier this week with ARK Invest's and 21Shares filling for a Bitcoin ETF then the cryptocurrency risk section in Robinhood's S-1--which I discussed yesterday--and then there's a CNBC interview I want to mention...

“That is probably the biggest, the most often-asked question that I get: When will the SEC approve a bitcoin exchange-traded product?” SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday, July 1. “I thought that if we had applied our standards as we have applied them to other products, we would already have approved one or more of them...With each passing day, the rationale that we have used in the past for not approving seems to grow weaker.”

I obviously don't have the answer here, and I understand that there are regulatory issues that the SEC needs to work through, but I can't help but picture Smaug--the dragon from The Hobbit--asleep on his pile of wealth while ignoring the changes occurring in the outside world when thinking about the SEC in this situation. Not that the Commission is trying to be greedy in any way, but rather that the Commission hasn't seemed to take the initiative to get ahead of the cryptocurrency boon we've seen through the pandemic and now. 

They've waited until--to continue down my own path of crazy here--more and more people invade their den to sit up and take notice of the world. 

Again, I'm not opining on the SEC or saying that anything that they're doing is right or wrong. I'm merely noting that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have really caught the eyes of investors and I'm constantly hearing how retail investors are diversifying their portfolios into stocks and then cryptocurrencies.

Oh, and I did a quick explainer on Bitcoin ETFs for those of you who are wondering what the heck I've been talking about. 

ICYMI: The Top Challenge Facing Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

Happy Fourth, y'all.