IPO Thursday: What you need to know ahead of Airbnb’s big debut

This is the web version of Bull Sheet, a no-nonsense daily newsletter on what’s happening in the markets. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

Good morning. U.S. tech futures are down, and edging lower as investors are still spooked by yesterday’s bombshell antitrust cases dropped on Facebook.

But none of that has chilled investor enthusiasm for new shares. Airbnb is set to go public later today, valuing the home-rental giant at $47 billion. That’s after DoorDash raised $3.4 billion in an IPO yesterday, and shares rocketed 86% higher. C3.ai had an even more astounding debut, with shares climbing 150%.

Elsewhere, European shares are edging higher after the EU cleared an important hurdle to green-light an epic stimulus package and after a dinner in Brussels ended with an extension on Brexit trade talks.

Let’s see what’s moving markets.

Markets update


  • The major Asia indexes are mostly lower in afternoon trading with Japan’s Nikkei off 0.2%.
  • SoftBank is on a heck of a run, up nearly 11% today, and nearly 18% since Tuesday. An early investor in DoorDash, SoftBank saw its stake balloon in value to $11.5 billion after yesterday’s mega IPO.
  • Here’s a bullish call on air travel. Virgin Australia’s new CEO Jayne Hrdlicka says the prospect of flying again will be “irresistible” for us marooned would-be travelers. She predicts a surge in air travel next summer.


  • The European bourses ticked higher this morning with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.1% at the open.
  • The British pound fell again in volatile trade after last night’s much-watched dinner between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen failed to yield a breakthrough in the deadlocked post-Brexit trade negotiations. What’s next in the world’s most tedious business story? A Sunday deadline. Oh joy.
  • But there is progress on the European Union’s $2.2 trillion stimulus bill as holdouts Poland and Hungary have dropped their objections.


  • U.S. futures are mixed this morning after all three indexes fell on Wednesday. The Nasdaq suffered its worst one-day loss since Oct. 30 as the threat of a Big Tech breakup looms larger.
  • The antitrust cases have hardly dented the IPO market. Fortune‘s Danielle Abril spoke yesterday to CEO Tony Xu who explained how they intend to spend their new cash pile.
  • Next up is Airbnb, and investor appetite for its new shares is brisk. It should beat the $3.37 billion DoorDash raised in its IPO. Here are six things you should know before those shares begin trading in a few hours.


  • Gold is down, trading around $1,840/ounce
  • The dollar is flat.
  • Crude is up, with Brent futures trading above $49/barrel
  • Bitcoin has bounced back, up nearly 4% to trade around $18,400.



This week’s billionaires

Real news

Reality check, No. 1

Reality Check: No. 2

Reality check, No. 3


Have a nice day, everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow. 

Bernhard Warner

As always, you can write to bullsheet@fortune.com or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.

Today's reads

Risks include: angry neighbors. If you read the fine print of Airbnb's prospectus, you'll see a few references to its many detractors. "Airbnb has warned prospective investors that managing its success in the face of angry neighbors and unfavorable local laws is among its biggest challenges in the U.S. and around the world," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Nine-out-of-10 failure rate. Lost in the euphoria of DoorDash's IPO was the impressive debut of C3.ai. The artificial intelligence specialist soared more than 150% yesterday. Fortune's Jeremy Kahn spoke to billionaire founder Tom Siebel who notes that nine out of 10 companies fail whenever they implement artificial intelligence software into their operations. "In that failure Siebel has found opportunity," Kahn writes. Investors are certainly betting that's the case.

Some of these stories require a subscription to access. There is a discount offer for our loyal readers if you use this link to sign up. Thank you for supporting our journalism.

Market candy

Quote of the day

They’ve presented a strong case and could win this.

That's Charlotte Slaiman, a former FTC lawyer who assessed the strength of the government's antitrust lawsuits against Facebook. But, she adds, the remedies—specifically that the social media giant divest WhatsApp and/or Instagram—will be a tough concession. In short, it "may be a long shot," Fortune's legal whiz Jeff John Roberts writes

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.

Read More

CEO DailyCFO DailyBroadsheetData SheetTerm Sheet