Global markets rise, but Robinhood’s IPO falters

Good evening, Bull Sheeters. This is Fortune finance reporter Rey Mashayekhi, filling in with a special PM edition of the newsletter while Bernhard’s on break.

It was a positive day for markets across the globe, as New York shrugged off underwhelming U.S. economic growth figures and Hong Kong rebounded from China’s regulatory scare. Elsewhere, Robinhood had a rocky IPO and Amazon issued a mixed earnings report.

Markets update


  • Markets in New York climbed despite U.S. GDP data that failed to match expectations. The S&P and the Dow both hit intraday records but fell shy of all-time closing highs, with each index gaining 0.4% on the day. The Nasdaq notched up 0.1%.
  • The U.S. economy grew at a 6.5% annualized rate in the second quarter and has now surpassed its pre-pandemic size. Yet economic growth failed to match forecasts of more than 8%, and concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus have clouded the outlook. Meanwhile, government data showed that the U.S. economy contracted at a record 19.2% annualized rate through the height of the pandemic.
  • Robinhood made its hotly anticipated debut as a publicly traded company Thursday, with its $38 share price coming in on the lower end of its targeted IPO price range—valuing the popular stock trading app at about $32 billion. The stock then quickly fell some 10% in the afternoon’s trading, and closed the day down 8%.
  • Amazon headlined Thursday’s earnings reports, posting revenues that exceeded $100 billion for the third consecutive quarter. Still, it failed to meet analysts’ top-line projections and offered a weak third-quarter guidance; its stock sank up to 7% in after-hours trading.
  • The U.S. Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure deal includes proposed taxes on cryptocurrency transactions that would raise up to $28 billion in revenue.
  • Mutual fund manager ProFunds has launched what it calls the first publicly available mutual fund backed by Bitcoin.
  • SEC chairman Gary Gensler said the agency will likely require publicly traded companies to provide mandatory climate risk disclosures.
  • The founder and former CEO of beleaguered electric automaker Nikola has been charged with securities fraud.


  • The European bourses were up across the board Thursday amid a wave of positive earnings reports from major companies. London’s FTSE gained 0.9%, Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 0.5%, the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.4%, and the pan-European STOXX 600 picked up 0.5%.
  • Credit Suisse has released a postmortem on its role in the Archegos Capital debacle, with the report documenting a “fundamental failure in management and controls” at the bank but no illegal conduct.
  • European corporate giants Volkswagen, Airbus, and Shell were among those to report bumper earnings on Thursday as the continent begins to emerge from the pandemic.
  • The UK’s mortgage sector boomed in June as home-buyers rushed to take advantage of a tax break that has since been scaled back. 


  • Asian markets finally began to turn around after what’s been a rough week in the wake of China’s private-sector crackdown. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 3.3% and Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.7%; on mainland China, the major indexes in Shanghai and Shenzhen picked up 1.5% and 3%, respectively.
  • Less than a month after its disastrous U.S. IPO, Chinese ride-sharing firm Didi Global is reportedly considering going private.
  • Thanks to Beijing’s crackdown, Chinese tech giant Tencent has lost $170 billion in market value in July.
  • Goldman Sachs says its clients are now wondering whether Chinese stocks have become “uninvestable.”
  • Singapore’s push to become a global startup hub is being threatened by the work-from-home revolution.


  • Gold climbed more than 1%
  • The dollar sank further.
  • Crude oil rose, with Brent hitting $76/barrel.
  • Bitcoin dipped below $40,000.


That’s all for now; please be sure to check out today’s reads below, where you’ll find tons of great writing from Fortune’s latest, crypto-focused magazine issue. Have a wonderful evening and see you tomorrow.

Rey Mashayekhi

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Today's reads

For the August/September issue of our magazine, Fortune dove down the crypto rabbit hole—exploring topics ranging from Bitcoin mining, to the “decentralized finance” (or DeFi) revolution, to NFTs. Below, you’ll find some of the great writing and reporting in the issue; be sure to give it a read—and if you don’t already, please subscribe!

Move fast and bank things: Crypto-based ‘DeFi’ takes on Wall Street by Robert Hackett

Where the smart money in crypto investing is going next by Rey Mashayekhi

How Caitlin Long turned Wyoming into crypto country by Maria Aspan

Ethereum risks it all on going green by Adam Bluestein

The Crypto Games: Meet the man who wants to make NFTs fun by Nicole Goodkind

Why Ripple’s SEC lawsuit could have a lasting impact on crypto by David H. Freedman

Sam Bankman-Fried and the conscience of a crypto billionaire by Claire Zillman

Corporate crypto 101: How companies are using Bitcoin and other digital currency by Anne Sraders

Crypto traders anonymous: A new addiction takes hold for many as cryptocurrency goes mainstream by Zara Stone

The China crackdown is making Bitcoin mining more profitable than ever by Shawn Tully

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


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