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2021’s Spicy Sectors 🌶️ 🔥

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Good evening, everyone. There’s only one more day until the new year — you can make it! 🥳 🥂

The market took a hit. Each index finished lower after yesterday’s losses. 💔

Safe haven sectors like real estate and utilities got all of the love. $XLRE rose 0.45% to a record high and $XLU launched 0.37%. 

Integrated Media Technology increased 12.2% to its highest price in December after announcing a new NFT trading platform. 🙌 $IMTE was up as much as 67% intraday before settling above $5. 

Biogen shares dove 7%. Samsung Group rejected a story that appeared in Korean media saying the company was in discussions to buy Biogen. ❌

Chinese tech stocks got bid up after trading in the dumpster for the past couple of months. Baidu bounced 10.5%, Alibaba ascended 9.7%, and NetEase accelerated 8.9%. 

$RELL ripped 12.47%, $DNAY increased 17.68%, and $AAVE.X 12.17%.

To continue our ‘Year in Review’ theme this week, today we’ll cover 2021’s spiciest sectors and industries. 🥂 But first, here are the closing prices:

S&P 500 4,778 -0.30%
Nasdaq 15,741 -0.16%
Russell 2000 2,248 -0.02%
Dow Jones 36,398 -0.25%


Industries, Sectors, and Crypto that Caught Our Eye in 2021

Industries, Sectors, and Crypto that Caught Our Eye in 2021 Featured Image

2021 will be remembered as a historical year. We (kind of) embarked on a post-pandemic economic recovery, battled new Covid mutations, observed a DeFi explosion, and witnessed all-around stock market chaos. 🤷 Over the course of this exhausting year, Stocktwits has kept track of the sectors and industries that caught our attention. 🕵️‍♀️

Here’s a breakdown of the major sectors/industries that got some love from the Daily Rip in 2021. ❤️ Grab a sparkling glass of pre-NYE champagne to celebrate some of these sectors!! 🥂 💸

Energy & Semiconductors ⚡

2020 was a tough year for oil. You’ll likely recall that crude prices plummeted (sometimes even in the negative) during the pandemic. 2021 was also a tumultuous year for oil, but for a different reason… supply. The overall petroleum sector gained 55% this year, and 2021 saw the largest gain in the Brent crude oil index since the late 90s. Oil futures in 2021 steadily gained in price during the year, tumbling briefly in late November. However, 2021 proved to be the year of oil supply mayhem, as President Biden called on OPEC to increase oil production in early August to address rising fuel prices. The Biden administration also coordinated the release of oil from reserves in early November as average gas prices hit +$2.11 YoY. What’s in store for oil next? You never really can tell, but the oil market’s momentum looks hot coming into the new year — inflation remains a concern for the overall sector, however. 

The natural gas market was the talk of the town this year. In September, natural gas prices were up 99% YTD. Natural gas prices haven’t really been an issue in the past, but the crazy crude market of 2021 turned all eyes on natural gas. Jack Fusco, the CEO of Cheniere Energy, offered his insights on the strength of the natural gas market: “As the economies began to ramp back up, and countries and companies worldwide decided natural gas was the fuel of choice for clean energy transmission, the demand has just skyrocketed.” Check out this crazy 5-year chart: 

The renewable energy sector was a mixed bag. In some sense, the sector blossomed as a whole. 🌸 According to an IEA market update earlier this year, “The amount of renewable electricity capacity added in 2020 rose by 45% in 2020 to 280 gigawatts (GW), the largest year-on-year increase since 1999.” And according to the U.S. Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 11 U.S. states generated 5% more of their total energy using solar-powered sources. However, solar stocks and other renewable stocks disappointed in 2021. The Invesco solar ETF $TAN saw a YTD loss and iShares Global Clean Energy ETF is down 24.56% YTD. 🤷 Nonetheless, many investors remain confident in renewables thanks to President Biden’s emphasis on eco-friendly business practices.

The semi industry was buzzin’. 🐝 Since semiconductor production was largely outsourced overseas, the global semi supply shortage has resulted in a 7.5% increase in wait times to manufacture cars, computers, and other tech goods. Here are some semi-related headlines that made the Daily Rip this year: 

  • Intel, the largest chipmaker in the world, is lobbying to boost chip production in the U.S. The company’s CEO has asked Congress to exclude non-U.S. manufacturers of semiconductors, like TSM and Samsung Electronics Co., from the CHIPS Act to avoid a large concentration of chip production in Taiwan and South Korea.
  • NVIDIA attempted to acquire ARM, a semiconductor design company, but got into an ARM-wrestle 😉 with the FTC. Other chip manufacturers raised their voices on news of the deal for fear of limited competition. 
  • Both NVIDIA and Qualcomm reported earnings in November and crushed it thanks to their business diversification and high demand. Both companies seem well-positioned financially as we head into 2022. 💪
  • GlobalFoundries, a U.S.-based chipmaker, went public and raised a whopping $2.6 billion in its market debut. There were murmurings about the possibility of Intel acquiring Global Foundries for $30 billion earlier this year. GloFo took the IPO route instead, however, and it seemed to work out well for them. 👍

Crypto Climbed

The 2021 Crypto Boom 💥 showed us that the digital asset industry is more than just Bitcoin ($BTC.X) and Ethereum ($ETH.X). From memecoins to Ethereum killers to meta tokens, the rise of altcoins has been a consistent trend throughout the year. In the wake of the crypto industry’s best year ever, let’s throw it back to the altcoins that captured everyone’s attention in 2021:

1. Solana ($SOL.X): Thanks to the boom in decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) this year, Solana emerged as the hottest ‘Ethereum killer‘. 🔥 🔥 The token remained strong even during Evergrande’s debt crisis.

There are several reasons for the massive appreciation in $SOL.X in 2021. For one, the SEC registered a Solana-centric fund for institutional investors. Secondly, the crypto market data network Pyth went live on the Solana blockchain. Finally, Solana blockchain entered the NFT world. 🌎

$SOL.X closed positive 10 out of 12 months to register a staggering 10,285.67% YTD return. Solana has become the fifth-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of around $53 billion.

Here’s the monthly chart:

2. Shiba Inu ($SHIB.X): After the emergence of Dogecoin ($DOGE.X), Shiba Inu ($SHIB.X) led the meme-based coin trend in the second half of 2021. The token, dubbed ‘Dogecoin Killer’, didn’t just flip Dogecoin — it also made a strong impression as the most promising memecoin. 🏆

Founded in 2020 as an Ethereum-based alternative to Dogecoin, Shiba Inu soared by over 46,219,036.72% during the last year, according to data from In comparison, $DOGE.X surged 3,710% in the past year.

Shiba Inu was initially considered a meme coin, but it has since earned the respect of speculators after its market cap skyrocketed to become the seventh-largest crypto in the world. $SHIB.X is currently ranked 13th by market cap, just one spot behind $DOGE.X.

Here is Shiba Inu’s daily chart:

3. Axie Infinity ($AXS.X): If you told someone you could make money from playing video games, maybe they wouldn’t believe you. 🎮 But 2021 taught us that earning money from games and the crypto-economy is a very real thing. 

Axie Infinity, a blockchain-based game inspired by the Pokémon series, gained attention when it supported rural communities in the Philippines. Axie Infinity allowed some people to survive by rewarding players with tokens. The players traded the cryptocurrency for fiat currency to earn a living.

Axie’s native token, $AXS.X, has risen nearly 16,966.58% in value in the past year.

4. TerraUSD (UST): Terra, a cosmos-based blockchain that creates algorithmic stablecoins pegged to the U.S. dollar or euro, achieved a milestone this year. Its stablecoin UST surpassed DAI in market cap, becoming the largest decentralized stablecoin with a market cap of over $10 billion. 🤑

TerraUSD has become the #4 stablecoin overall. The other top three stablecoins – Tether ($USDT.X), USD Coin ($USD.X), and Binance USD ($BUSD.X), are run and managed by centralized entities, and they’re under scrutiny

5. Decentraland ($MANA.X): When Facebook announced its ‘Meta’ rebrand in a bid to “bring the metaverse to life,” there were some tokens that began climbing — and they’re still rallying. 

One of those tokens is $MANA.X, the native token of Ethereum-based virtual world Decentraland, which has risen over 4,166.87% in the past year, trading around $3.35.

Decentraland claims it’s already a metaverse platform where users can buy and sell virtual properties, develop their land, and show off digital collectibles. Experts say that 2021 was the year of NFTs and 2022 will be the year of the metaverse, where meta-based tokens will have a lot of room to grow.

One Times Square is hosting its own digital New Year’s Eve Ball on December 31 at 11 p.m. EST within Decentraland, marking one of the first times a major cultural celebration has been replicated in the metaverse. We can’t wait to see how this event goes. 🥂

Here’s the daily chart of $MANA.X:

Biotech’s Bumpy Ride

For some investors, biotech is their favorite way to spend money. 😅 🧬 We get the hype, because in just a day or two, some biotech companies see 100%+ gains explosions thanks to positive results from early-stage experimental trials. But the same companies will also see those gains squashed (and we mean SQUASHED) instantly after reporting bad data from later-stage trials. 🎢 Currently, the biotech sector is expected to reach $2.4 trillion by 2028. Basic biotech winners in 2021 include the obvious Pfizer ($PFE), whose Covid-19 vaccine raked in over $24 billion in profits to reach a market cap of about $352.69 billion. The company is up about 66% YTD. Moderna ($MRNA) sits at a market cap of $102.7 billion and is up 141.23% YTD. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) is up just 9.78% YTD. 

What should you expect from biotech in 2022?? Companies utilizing AI, gene sequencing, gene therapy, big data, synthetic biology, bioprinting, and tissue engineering — be on the lookout for early-stage companies utilizing these technologies and more as we head into the new year. 🔬

Real Estate Got Rocked

The real estate market was a crazy place to be in 2020. Thanks to the recession, high unemployment, and a global pandemic, 6 million total homes were sold in the U.S. and the average home price increased 5%. In late 2020, analysts conjectured that the job market, urban migration, and migration to affordable housing would influence the real estate sector in 2021. Here are some bullets about real estate’s actual performance in 2021:

  • The supply of existing homes in the U.S. hit historic lows, causing a 19% price increase for newly-built homes in late 2021. Because of these price increases, sales of homes bought by first-time home buyers stumbled 14% as Americans struggled to keep up with rising home prices. 😬
  • General housing prices in the United States have now been on the rise for 9 straight years.
  • The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index skyrocketed 18.4% in October. Each city in the index saw double-digit increases in home prices. According to the same index, the hottest markets were Phoenix (+32.3%), Tampa (+28.1%) and Miami (+25.7%).
  • It’s predicted that the supply of homes will remain sparse in 2022. It’s also expected that interest rates will rise, bringing up mortgages. Some sources predict that 30-year-fixed mortgage rates will hit 3.60% in late 2022 — increased mortgages aren’t necessarily bad, though, as they could bring the housing market back down to ‘sanity.’ 

Many analysts anticipate a correction very soon for this ultra-hot real estate market. 🌶️ 🔥

The Airline Situation 

Despite the Omicron surge, the holiday season saw millions of passengers wander through airports for travel. The TSA reported that 14.6 million passengers made it through security during the week of Dec. 23, with 2,081,297 travelers passing through TSA just 3 days before Christmas (that’s a higher throughput than the same date in 2019!) Americans clearly flocked to airports at the end of 2021, but how did airlines fare throughout the year? ✈️

Many major airlines pulled a management switcheroo this year. Several notable CEOs stepped down from their positions in the industry, including American Airlines’ CEO Doug Parker, Southwest’s CEO Gary Kelly, and Alaska Airlines’ CEO Brad Tilden.

Speaking of Southwest, remember the widespread cancellation of Southwest flights in early October?! On October 11, the airline cancelled over 1,800 flights citing “air traffic control issues, bad weather, and staffing shortfalls.” It was weird — Southwest was in panic mode, but other airlines appeared to be chillin’. ❄️ Rumors circulated that Southwest’s cancellations actually had something to do with uproar over vaccine mandates. 

The Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against American Airlines and JetBlue for their partnership. The two airlines attempted to merge their marketing businesses so that JetBlue could market American on its flights, and vice versa. 

Airline earnings in the summer showed some recovery mid-year, although the $JETS airline ETF needed to gain 26% to return to its pre-pandemic levels circa July 2021. Now, $JETS is down just 1.28% YTD. 👏 Hey, progress is progress. 👌

Finally, here’s a list of major U.S. airline YTD performance in 2021: 🛫

  • American Airlines: +14.58% YTD.
  • Southwest: -8.35% YTD
  • United Airlines: +2.03% YTD
  • JetBlue: -2.06% YTD 
  • Delta: -2.91% 
  • Spirit: -9.61%