How to Spend a Stimulus Check?
With the third round of stimulus checks but certain to start coming this past month, Americans will begin thinking about how they will use the cash. The next round of stimulation more directly aims at lower earners, who are more likely to spend their checks than others. Contemplating that customer spending rose 2.4 percent in January following checks were issued, the larger, $1,400 checks might boost spending much more.
A rise in private income, paired with additional reopenings, can”unleash large pent-up requirement” in support industry consumption, Jefferies main economist Aneta Markowska said. She anticipates personal consumption spending to grow 7 percent in 2021 and 4.1percent in 2022.
Global Food Prices Spike
In February, international food costs climbed 2.4% for their ninth consecutive month. While there’s never a good time for food to get more costly, one year to some crushing pandemic definitely counts as the worst-case. Adjusted for inflation, prices are at their greatest point as 2014. Over the short term, consumers in wealthier nations typically remain insulated from price increases.
The pandemic pushed an extra 13+ million Americans to food insecurity, however, the problem is even worse in the world’s poorest states.
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Is Ark in Trouble?
In 2020, Ark Innovation became the biggest actively managed ETF on earth, with $17 billion in assets under management. Ark’s flagship fund returned more than 150%, and its actively managed ETFs at least doubled in value. Following its otherworldly 2020, any dip in Ark’s operation was about to put off alarms bells. Tech stocks that defied gravity for the majority of the pandemic have been hit the hardest, knocking on the Nasdaq to 11% below its list. And Ark is particularly sensitive to some motions apart from higher-risk tech stocks because it has so much exposure to them. 139 of the 164 stocks held throughout Ark’s five capital have been down over the past month.
Tesla accounts for approximately 10 percent of Ark Innovation. That position made Wood look like a genius when Tesla gained almost 8x last year, but shares don’t always go up. Tesla has lost a third of its worth since hitting an all- time large in January.
Yet Another Successful IPO
Roblox, an internet multiplayer video game system, popped 7.75percent in its public introduction yesterday to close with a market cap of about $38 billion. Having the estimated 199 million active users in January, over half of them are children below the age of 13.
Roblox generated $923.9 million in earnings this past year, largely through the selling of virtual in-game money referred to as”Robux.” And though it has yet to make a profit, the business hopes to make between $1.44 billion and $1.52 billion in 2021 earnings.
Private Equity & Venture Capital
Retail Health and Wealth Tech
Keep, Valo Health, Everlywell and Pear Therapeutics were all among the startups in the retail health and wellness tech sector to raise VC mega-rounds during the final three months of 2020. In all, investors put $2.3 billion to work in the quarter, as the pandemic continues to drive new interest in telehealth and other related areas.
Pre-money valuations in the space increased nearly 77% in 2020 on a year- over-year basis. Google’s recent investment in Amwell and its acquisition of Fitbit are the latest sign of big tech companies’ interest in healthtech. The new government and payor commitment to virtual health could spur more innovation in the space according to Pitchbook.com.
South Korean e-commerce company Coupang surged over 40% in its trading debut, valuing it at $88.3 billion. Coupang raised $4.6 billion in its IPO, one of the year’s biggest, after pricing its shares at $35 per share. SoftBank has a 33% stake in the company which is worth about $28 billion.
Commodities & Digital Assets
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PayPal to Boost Digital Assets Security
PayPal Holdings, Inc. today announced that it has agreed to acquire Curv to accelerate and expand its initiatives to support cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Curv is a leading provider of cloud-based infrastructure for digital asset security based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
In October 2020, PayPal announced its commitment to help shape the role that digital currencies will play in the future of financial services and commerce. To drive sustained growth and innovation in this area, the company recently created a business unit focused on blockchain, crypto and digital currencies. Curv will join the newly formed group, with its strong team of technologists adding technical expertise to PayPal.