Oil, Global Stocks Fall as Investors Cut | Stock Market News Today


Global stocks, oil and cryptocurrencies fell, as investors grappled with the prospect of higher interest rates and disappointing results from popular consumer tech stocks.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 fell 0.4%, pointing to an extension of Thursday’s drop, when the index closed down 1.1%. Nasdaq-100 futures declined 0.7%, suggesting more losses for technology stocks. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures ticked down 0.1%. 

Shares in Asia-Pacific and Europe broadly retreated. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1.2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index and Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.9%. 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index shed 0.9% Friday.



Photo:

behrouz mehri/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

In off-hours trading,

Netflix

shares plunged over 20% after the company said it expected a slowdown in subscriber growth. Peloton rose 7.5%, recouping some losses after the stock tumbled nearly 24% Thursday on reports that the connected-fitness company was halting production. Its chief executive refuted these claims in a statement. 

“As we return to a more normal world, names like Peloton and Netflix being weaker or disappointing isn’t a surprise,” said Arun Sai, a multiasset strategist at Pictet Asset Management. “I think when the dust settles, we’ll have a reasonable set of numbers in Q4 earnings. Peloton and Netflix are more of a distraction than anything else.”

Investors’ increasing conviction that the Federal Reserve will have to raise interest rates several times this year to combat inflation has pressured stocks. Last week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell called rapid inflation a “severe threat” to a full economy recovery, and data showed consumer prices soaring 7% on the year in December

This has hit growth stocks and put the Nasdaq in correction territory, as investors are dumping shares of unprofitable companies. Tensions between Russia and NATO are also weighing on market sentiment, investors said. The S&P 500 is down 3.9% this week, on track for the worst performance since Oct. 2020. 

“Geopolitical risk plays a role, repricing of [central bank] policy plays a role and the inflation mix in the sense of cost pressures. You put all those together and there is actually quite a change,” said Georgina Taylor, a multiasset fund manager at Invesco. “Risk premium for equities needs to go up.”

President Biden said on Wednesday that the U.S. is ready to unleash sanctions against Russia if President Vladimir Putin makes a move against Ukraine. Biden also laid out a possible diplomatic resolution. Photo: Susan Walsh/Associated Press

Investors’ bets on faster rate rises have driven up inflation-linked bond yields, seen as a benchmark for financing costs. The yield on the 10-year Treasury inflation-protected security rose as high as minus 0.526% Friday, the highest level since June 2020, before easing slightly to minus 0.536%. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note edged down to 1.792% from 1.833% Thursday.   

Cryptocurrencies tumbled, with bitcoin losing nearly 6.5% compared with its level at 5 p.m. ET Thursday. It traded below $38,300, the lowest level since August, before rising slightly to around $38,700. Ether fell 6.8%. 

Oil prices also declined. Global benchmark Brent crude fell 1.5%, trading at $87.03 a barrel, weighed down by a surprise increase in U.S. crude stockpiles, according to analysts at RBC Capital Markets. 

Data provider

IHS Markit,

oil services company

Schlumberger

and financial firms

Huntington Bancshares

and

Ally Financial

are set to report earnings Friday. 

Overseas, wind-power company

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

fell 10% after it posted an operating loss and lowered its guidance, citing supply-chain constraints. Shares of some Chinese drugmakers surged after they were selected to help make cheaper versions of Merck’s Covid-19 pill.

BrightGene Bio-Medical Technology

rose 20% and Viva Biotech advanced 14%. 

Write to Dave Sebastian at [email protected] and Anna Hirtenstein at [email protected]

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ETF Inflows Top $1 Trillion for First | Stock Market News Today


A historic surge of cash has swept into exchange-traded funds, spurring asset managers to launch new trading strategies that could be undone by a market downturn. 

This year’s inflows into ETFs world-wide crossed the $1 trillion mark for the first time at the end of November, surpassing last year’s total of $735.7 billion, according to Morningstar Inc. data. That wave of money, along with rising markets, pushed global ETF assets to nearly $9.5 trillion, more than double where the industry stood at the end of 2018.

Most of that money has gone into low-cost U.S. funds that track indexes run by Vanguard Group,

BlackRock Inc.


BLK 0.66%

and

State Street Corp.


STT -0.50%

, which together control more than three-quarters of all U.S. ETF assets. Analysts said rising stock markets, including a 25% lift for the S&P 500 this year, and a lack of high-yielding alternatives have boosted interest in such funds.  

“You have this historical precedent where you have tumultuous equity markets, and more and more investors have made their way to index products,” said

Rich Powers,

head of ETF and index product management at Vanguard.

Asset managers are looking to actively managed funds, some with narrow themes, in search of an unfilled niche not already dominated by the industry’s juggernauts, analysts and executives said. VanEck, for example, earlier this month rolled out an active ETF targeting the food industry. In March, Tuttle Capital Management launched its

FOMO ETF,

which is bullish on stocks popular with individual investors. 

Firms including Dimensional Fund Advisors have converted mutual funds into active ETFs. Meanwhile, bigger firms have rolled out ETFs that mimic popular mutual funds, including Fidelity Investments’ Magellan and Blue Chip Growth funds.

“We should have a broad offering of ETFs that stand alongside a broad offering of mutual funds,” said

Gerard O’Reilly,

Dimensional’s co-chief executive, of his company. “Choose your own adventure.” 

As ETFs, baskets of securities that trade as easily as stocks, have boomed this year, investors poured a record $84 billion into ones that pick combinations of securities in search of outperformance rather than tracking swaths of the stock market. That represents about 10% of all inflows into U.S. ETFs, up from nearly 8% last year, according to Morningstar. 

Asset managers long known for running mutual funds are rushing to take advantage of investors’ interest in active ETFs. More than half of the record 380 ETFs launched in the U.S. this year are actively managed, according to FactSet. Fidelity, Putnam and

T. Rowe Price

are among the firms that have rolled out actively managed ETFs in 2021. Firms new to ETFs have also entered the fray. 

The top 20 fastest-growing ETFs, largely run by Vanguard and BlackRock, this year pulled in nearly 40% of all flows, charged an average fee of less than 0.10 percentage point and tracked benchmarks of some sort. 

Many active ETFs remain comparatively small and charge fees higher than passive funds, putting a swath of new products at risk of closing over the next several years. ETFs usually need between $50 million and $100 million in assets within five years of launching to become profitable, analysts and executives say; funds below those levels have tended to close. 

Of the nearly 600 active ETFs in the U.S., three-fifths have less than $100 million in assets, according to FactSet data. More than half are below $50 million. 

“You’re going to see a lot of those firms take a hard look at their future,” said

Elisabeth Kashner,

FactSet’s director of ETF research.

The stock market’s bull run has helped buoy many ETF providers, Ms. Kashner said, adding that firms have in 2021 closed the fewest number of funds in eight years. But a market pullback, which most stock-market strategists anticipate, could flush out weaker players, she said. 

Vanguard has been a beneficiary of high inflows to funds that track indexes. A statue of founder John C. Bogle.



Photo:

Ryan Collerd for The Wall Street Journal

ETF closures generally climbed over the past decade, and firms closed a record 277 ETFs last year as the coronavirus pulled markets down. Many held few assets. About a third of all active ETFs are marked as having a medium or high risk of closure, according to FactSet data that take into account assets, flows and fund closure history. 

Factors that have helped stoke active launches, analysts and executives said, include rules streamlined by regulators in late 2019 that made ETFs easier to launch. The approval of the first semitransparent active ETFs, which shield some holdings from the public’s eye, followed.

Analysts also said the success of ARK Investment Management Chief Executive

Cathie Wood

in 2020 showed how active ETFs can score big returns and pull in substantial sums of money. Several of ARK’s funds doubled last year, and its assets approached $60 billion earlier this year, though many of its bets have slumped in 2021. 

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

How long do you think the boom in exchange-traded funds will last? Join the conversation below.

Most other active managers aren’t doing much better. Two-thirds of large-cap managers of mutual funds have fallen short of benchmarks this year, while roughly 10% of the 371 U.S. active ETFs with full-year performance data are beating the S&P 500. More than a third are flat or negative for 2021. 

“Active management is a zero-sum game,” said FactSet’s Ms. Kashner. “Beating the benchmark quarter after quarter, year after year, is a very difficult task at which active managers have traditionally struggled. The ETF wrapper doesn’t change that calculus.” 

Write to Michael Wursthorn at [email protected]

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Space Race, Nasdaq, IBM, Nvidia: What to Watch When the Stock | Sidnaz Blog


To the moon! Well, not quite, but into space at least today for

Jeff Bezos,

the billionaire baron of ecommerce. Also not going to the moon is

Amazon


AMZN -0.67%

stock, though it is 0.4% up premarket on Tuesday morning.

  • One reason for Mr. Bezos’s rocket ride is the more earthly goal of winning government contracts for the kind of less thrilling scientific projects the provide reliable revenue. His Blue Origin company is playing catch-up with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
  • Mr. Musk’s electric vehicle maker

    Tesla,


    TSLA 0.31%

    is getting a bit of a boost Tuesday morning ahead of the open, rising 1% premarket. It is also gaining more attention on the message boards among day traders, according to Topstonks.com. The company reports earnings next Monday and tends to see its stock rise in the days ahead as investors start hoping for exciting announcements.

  • In the wider markets, U.S. stock futures are trending higher ahead of the open following Monday’s broad selloff. S&P 500 futures are up 0.5%, while Dow futures are up 0.6%. Nasdaq-100 futures are up 0.4%
  • Nasdaq the company, not the index, is itself rising premarket, up 1%, after The Wall Street Journal’s exclusive that it will spin out its Private Market for shares in start-ups that trade among some investors before an initial public offering. The business will go into a standalone joint venture company and get investment from three Wall Street banks and SVB Financial Group, a tech specialist bank.
  • Nvidia


    NVDA 15.18%

    is up 0.8% on large volumes following a 15% rise Monday. The shares are up nearly 80% over the past year, putting the chip maker into the top 10 list of U.S. public companies. It also executed its four-for-one stock split overnight, which has given some investors more ways to trade the stock-performance.

  • International Business Machines


    IBM -0.71%

    is up 3.4% ahead of the open on Tuesday after turning in decent second-quarter numbers Monday after the close. The computing group’s efforts to refocus on cloud-based computing and spin off its old-fashioned IT services business is winning fans among investors. At the same time, it has benefitted from companies beginning to invest again as the economy reopens.

IBM reported earnings on Monday..



Photo:

sergio perez/Reuters

Chart of the Day
  • Stocks, commodities and other financial markets took a stumble Monday on growing concerns about the strength of the post-Covid-19 global recovery.

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Ackman SPAC Decides Against Buying 10% Stake in Universal Music | Sidnaz Blog


Universal Music’s headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., earlier this year.



Photo:

Bing Guan/Bloomberg News

Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd.


PSTH -1.81%

, a blank-check company led by hedge-fund manager

William Ackman,

said it won’t proceed with its proposed acquisition of a 10% stake in Universal Music Group and will assign its share-purchase deal to

Pershing Square Holdings Ltd.

Vivendi

SE—Universal’s majority owner—said it approved Pershing Square Tontine’s request to assign its rights and obligations under a June 20 agreement to investment funds with significant economic interests or management positions held by Mr. Ackman.

The French media company said the equity interest eventually acquired in Universal Music will now be between 5% and 10%. If it falls below 10%, Vivendi said it would still sell the additional interest to other investors before the planned spinoff of Universal Music into an Amsterdam-listed company in September.

On June 20, Pershing Square Tontine agreed to buy 10% of the ordinary shares of Universal Music in a deal valuing the world’s largest music company—home to stars including Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Queen and the Beatles—at about $40 billion.

Pershing Square Tontine said its decision to withdraw from the deal was prompted by issues raised by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said its board didn’t believe the deal could have been completed given the SEC’s position.

The blank-check company said its board concluded that assigning its Universal Music stock-purchase deal to Pershing Square was in the best interest of shareholders. Pershing Square Tontine said Pershing Square intends to be a long-term Universal Music shareholder.

Pershing Square Tontine said it would seek a new transaction, which will be structured as a conventional special purpose acquisition company merger. The company said it has 18 months remaining to close a deal.

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Ingersoll Rand Has Made Takeover Bids for SPX Flow | Sidnaz Blog


SPX Flow primarily makes components for machinery used by food-and-beverage and industrial companies.



Photo:

Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Ingersoll Rand Inc.


IR 0.06%

has made takeover bids for component maker

SPX Flow Inc.


FLOW -1.59%

that have so far been rebuffed, according to people familiar with the matter.

The industrial-machinery company’s most recent all-cash offer valued SPX Flow in the low-$80s a share, the people said, or around $3.5 billion. SPX shares closed Friday at $62.09, giving the company a market value of about $2.6 billion.

Charlotte, N.C.-based SPX primarily makes components for machinery used by food-and-beverage and industrial companies. Ingersoll Rand, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial pumps and compressors, has a market value of about $20 billion.

In 2019, the former

Ingersoll-Rand


TT 0.04%

PLC, then incorporated in Dublin, agreed to merge with Gardner Denver Holdings Inc. The deal combined Gardner Denver’s selection of compressor, pump, vacuum and blower products and services with the part of Ingersoll Rand that made similar tools and systems as well as equipment for lifting and material handling, and golf carts.

The remainder of the company—heating, ventilation and air- and temperature-controlled transport businesses—became

Trane Technologies

PLC.

Former Gardner Denver Chief Executive

Vicente Reynal

has led the combined company since the deal closed in 2020. Ingersoll Rand has since sold its golf-cart business to private-equity firm Platinum Equity for around $1.7 billion.

Private-equity firm KKR & Co. owned a stake in Gardner Denver at the time of the merger and remains a more-than-7% shareholder in Ingersoll Rand, according to FactSet. It also holds seats on the board.

Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected] and Miriam Gottfried at [email protected]

Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the July 19, 2021, print edition as ‘Ingersoll Is Bidding To Acquire SPX Flow.’



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Moderna Jumps on Joining the S&P 500: What to Watch When the | Sidnaz Blog


Stock futures are inching higher ahead of retail sales figures and a measure of consumer sentiment, that together will offer fresh clues on the vigor of American shoppers. Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Friday’s opening bell.

Medical professionals prepared syringes with doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination event in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2021.



Photo:

michael reynolds/Shutterstock

  • Intel


    INTC -1.26%

    is exploring a deal to buy GlobalFoundries, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would rate as its largest acquisition ever. The semiconductor giant’s shares ticked up 0.9% premarket.

  • Chinese regulators slammed the brakes on

    Didi Global


    DIDI -2.06%

    ‘s shares, having on Friday entered the ride-hailing giant’s offices to conduct a cybersecurity investigation. U.S.-traded Didi shares were down 4.3% ahead of the bell.

  • American Outdoor Brands


    AOUT 5.99%

    reported a net profit for the recent quarter after a loss a year earlier, but investors seem less than impressed. Shares of the outdoor sporting and camping goods retailer dropped more than 9.6% off hours.

  • Alcoa


    AA -1.71%

    shares added 1.9% premarket after the aluminum producer topped second-quarter sales and income expectations as it benefited from strong demand and rising prices.

  • Kansas City Southern


    KSU 0.77%

    said revenue during the recent quarter got a boost from a strengthening Mexican peso. The railroad operator’s shares were up 1% premarket

  • Charles Schwab


    SCHW 0.50%

    is among the companies reporting earnings Friday.

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Blackstone, AIG, NortonLifeLock, Morgan Stanley: What to Watch | Sidnaz Blog


Futures are mixed ahead of jobless figures and a second day of testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman

Jerome Powell

on Capitol Hill. S&P 500 contracts are down slightly. Nasdaq-100 futures are up, suggesting tech stocks will outperform.

Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Thursday’s trading action.

Prague-based Avast primarily makes free and premium security software, offering desktop and mobile-device protection.



Photo:

david w cerny/Reuters

  • Is the steam coming out of meme stocks?

    AMC Entertainment,


    AMC -15.04%

    one favorite of the Reddit trading crowd, lost 3.7% premarket. If matched once trading begins, the stock would extend a decline of 43% over the past month.

    GameStop


    GME -6.91%

    and

    BlackBerry


    BB -3.79%

    shares have both dropped by almost a quarter in that time.

  • Netflix


    NFLX 1.34%

    shares rose 2.6%. The streaming company, which reached a licensing deal over animated films with Universal this week, has been on a tear of late, gaining 11% for the month through Wednesday.

  • T. Rowe Price


    TROW -0.85%

    shares are up 2.6%. Analysts at Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley have raised their target prices for the stock in recent days. T. Rowe said this week it managed $1.62 trillion in assets at the end of June.

  • Supply-chain technology provider

    E2Open Parent


    ETWO -0.73%

    fell 1% after reporting a fall in profit and revenue in its fiscal first quarter from a year before.

Chart of the Day

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Google’s Cookie Delay Is Bittersweet for Trade Desk | Sidnaz Blog


The Trade Desk, which went public in September 2016, helps other companies buy ads across the internet.



Photo:

CHRISTOPHER GALLUZZO/NASDAQ

The

Trade Desk


TTD 0.18%

lives, but it can’t escape the cookie monster’s shadow.

When Google announced plans Thursday to delay its phaseout of third-party tracking cookies, Trade Desk’s stock jumped 16%, leading a strong uptick among other so-called ad-tech players. It was a nice bump that didn’t quite bring the stock back up to its level from before Google announced its original plan in early March. That news—with a plan to phase out cookies by early next year—cost Trade Desk about 20% of its market value over a two-day period.

While the recent change is good news for the company, the market’s stark reaction reflects the continued belief that Trade Desk is highly vulnerable to the whims of its massive rival. The ad-tech company, which helps other companies buy ads across the internet, has built a formidable business in its own right, with close to $900 million in trailing 12-month revenue and still growing at a strong double-digit rate. The vast majority of that business takes place on platforms such as connected televisions that lie outside of the search ecosystem that Google dominates. But the digital advertising business is a very big pond; eMarketer estimates the global market grew nearly 13% to reach about $378 billion in 2020. And Google is by far the biggest fish in that pond, with advertising revenue reported by parent company

Alphabet Inc.

now just under $158 billion a year.

That lopsided relationship means the search giant’s actions cause major ripples. Cookies—bits of code that follow users around the internet—have historically been a major tool for online advertisers to target their spending. But their poor image with privacy advocates also has made them unfashionable.

Apple Inc.

began blocking cookies with its Safari web browser in 2017, and Google has long teased that it will do the same with its Chrome browser. Those two together account for about 83% of the world’s browser market share, according to Statcounter.

Trade Desk has thus been working to build up an alternative solution. The company’s effort—an open-sourced initiative called Unified ID 2.0—uses email and artificial intelligence to help advertisers with their targeting. Analysts at ISI Evercore set a buy rating on Trade Desk in April—after Google announced its original cookie phaseout plan—citing the company’s strong position relative to peers “because brands trust them with their first-party data.” The Unified ID 2.0 program also has drawn the support of major advertisers such as Walmart, which sits on “one of the most robust sets of consumer retail data in the world,” ISI noted.

Google’s latest move to delay the implementation of its cookie plan gives Trade Desk “more time to refine their offering, attract more partners and increase adoption” of its alternative solution, Truist analyst

Youssef Squali

wrote on Thursday. Success of its cookie alternatives could also help the company better convince investors that it can survive Google’s scramble to get on the right side of the privacy debate. But the concentrated nature of the online advertising business still means that when Google makes a splash, everyone else gets wet.

Write to Dan Gallagher at [email protected]

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Credit Suisse’s SPAC Bonanza Dries Up | Sidnaz Blog


Now the market for SPACs—or special-purpose acquisition companies—has come off the boil, and new underwriting fees are threatening to dry up. Credit Suisse’s SPAC deals are being closely watched by investors and analysts, because revenue from them came to represent a large chunk of overall investment-banking revenue last year. That raised concerns that the fees and deal volume might not be sustainable.

Credit Suisse went from making an estimated $466 million in gross SPAC underwriting fees in the first quarter, to $16.1 million between April 1 and June 15, according to data provider Refinitiv.

Across banks, SPAC underwriting fees fell to $541 million in the second quarter to June 15, from a record $4.85 billion in the first quarter, according to Refinitiv data. Other banks, including

Citigroup Inc.

and

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.,

also saw sharp dives in their SPAC initial public offering fees in the second quarter, according to Refinitiv data.

SPACs are shell companies that raise money to target a private company and take it public. They became a popular cash cow for big-name investors and celebrities in soaring stock markets, but demand cooled in the second quarter as shares of some companies that merged with SPACs tumbled and the Securities and Exchange Commission toughened its stance on the format.

The drop-off in activity doesn’t mean banks will stop reporting strong SPAC revenue. Refinitiv calculates full IPO underwriting fees upfront, while in practice, banks receive around 2% of money raised when the SPAC goes public and another 3.5% or so if and when the SPAC buys or merges with another company. Mergers continued in the second quarter, producing those deferred underwriting fees, and frequently additional fees too for deal advice or raising more cash.

Nearly 300 SPACs have said they intend to raise money, meaning new blank-check IPOs and underwriting could pick up again.

The SPAC business is emblematic of the bank’s post-Archegos dilemma: It wants to ratchet down risk and focus on managing the wealth of the global rich—but investment banking brought in 40% of revenue last year. Credit Suisse Chairman

António Horta-Osório,

who started May 1, said there could be strategic changes and that tough decisions lie ahead.

Credit Suisse’s share price has been among the worst performers of global banks this year, down 14%. Over the same period, an index of European banking stocks is up by more than one quarter.

Credit Suisse’s new chairman, António Horta-Osório, has said tough decisions lie ahead for the bank.



Photo:

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg News

The SPAC fee surge last year helped Credit Suisse offset $1.3 billion in unexpected charges from a legal case, and revaluing a hedge-fund stake. The revenue took on more importance when Archegos Capital, the family office of hedge-fund manager

Bill Hwang,

couldn’t meet margin calls at several banks in March, causing more than $10 billion in losses at lenders exiting the Archegos positions.

Credit Suisse said it was able to largely contain losses from Archegos because of the strong quarter it had elsewhere in the investment bank, including in underwriting SPACs and other IPOs. It reported a $275 million first-quarter net loss and tapped shareholders for $2 billion capital in April.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Can the SPAC market make a comeback? Why or why not? Join the conversation below.

The bank said losses could also be material from the collapse of another client, financial firm Greensill Capital, with which Credit Suisse ran $10 billion in investment funds.

Credit Suisse doesn’t break out SPAC revenue in published earnings. However, its chief financial officer,

David Mathers,

told analysts in April that around $300 million of $1.5 billion capital markets and advisory fees in the first quarter came from SPACs. Revenue across Credit Suisse was around $8.4 billion.

Credit Suisse was the biggest underwriter of SPACs last year, benefiting from relationships with serial SPAC founders such as venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya and deal maker and Vegas Golden Knights owner

Bill Foley.

The Swiss bank invested in the sector in the years before SPACs went mainstream, hiring veteran SPAC banker Niron Stabinsky in 2015.

WSJ explains why some critics say investing in SPACs isn’t worth the risk. (Originally published Sep. 29, 2020)

Write to Margot Patrick at [email protected]

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