What’s happening: This was the hottest August for listed public offerings in the United States, with 41 deals worth $ 16.4 billion, according to research firm Dealogic. This includes Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, or SPACs – so-called “blank” funds that investors can leverage to support the closing of future deals.
“The IPO bankers have skipped the holidays,” William Smith, CEO of Renaissance Capital, said in a recent note to clients.
September is set to be even busier, with a growing number of companies announcing highly anticipated registrations.
Ant Group, the financial arm of billionaire Jack Ma’s tech company Alibaba, this week filed for simultaneous listing in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Star Market, China’s Nasdaq-like technology council. The company could raise up to $ 30 billion, according to Reuters.
The company said it had never made a profit in 17 years and that about a third of its revenue came from its three biggest clients, report my CNN Business colleagues Sara Ashley O’Brien and Rachel Metz.
However, its ambitions are great. Palantir, which provides governments and businesses with tools ranging from tracking the spread of the novel coronavirus to locating terrorists, said in the filing that one of its goals is to “become the default operating system for data across the US government ”.
And let’s not forget Airbnb, which filed confidential documents for an IPO last week.
Stocks of new public companies have done well, according to the Renaissance IPO ETF, which tracks companies that have recently debuted. The ETF is up 13.5% this quarter, while the S&P 500 is up 11%.
Banning WeChat will hurt U.S. businesses
President Donald Trump’s threat to ban WeChat has already shocked millions of users in America who use the app as a lifeline for their family and friends in China. It could also become a big headache for US companies operating in the world’s second-largest economy, reports my CNN Business colleague Sherisse Pham.
The executive order issued earlier this month would bar Americans and US businesses from “any WeChat-related transaction” – a significant escalation in the tech war between Washington and Beijing.
The command clearly targets the use of the app in the United States. But its broad wording also suggests that its effects “could go beyond the United States, and restrict all American entities, whether in the United States or globally here in China,” said Ker Gibbs, chairman of the United States. American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
This would be a huge problem for American businesses in China, where WeChat has become essential for hundreds of millions of people who use it to message friends, pay for goods, take trips, book train tickets and order food. Businesses use the platform to interact with customers, advertise and, most importantly, accept payments.
Starbucks ( and )Walmart (, for example, could be cut off from customers who use WeChat to order their products. Walmart said last year that 30% of transactions in China came from its “Scan and Go” app, a program built into WeChat. )
Nike ( CEO Mark Parker said in December that the company sees “great momentum” with digital partners, such as “Instagram and Google and Tmall and WeChat.” The company uses the apps to build “relationships with the consumer,” Parker said. )
According to Gibbs, whose sales organization includes 3,000 members from 1,500 companies, losing the ability to use WeChat “could literally be an existential threat” to US companies hoping to strengthen their presence in the Chinese market.
Oil prices at five-month high as Hurricane Laura looms
Oil prices hit their highest level since March as the Gulf Coast braces for Hurricane Laura, which is expected to continue to strengthen until it hits Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday night or Thursday morning .
Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, were last trading at $ 43.71 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate futures, the US benchmark, was at 43.71 per barrel. , $ 16 per barrel.
Hurricane Laura, which could arrive as a Category 4 storm, has forced oil companies to evacuate rigs and halt production. The United States Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimated on Tuesday that about 84% of the region’s oil production has been shut down, as well as 61% of natural gas production.
Investor Insight: Storms typically cause short-term disruptions in oil prices, Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, told clients. Long-term price support will need to come from evidence of growing demand.
This could be a challenge in the coming months. IHS Markit said in a report this week that it expects global demand growth to decline, reaching 92 to 95 million barrels per day through the first quarter of 2021. That would be below demand. before the pandemic.
Dick’s sporting goods ( reports results before the US markets open. )Williams-Sonoma ( follows after closing. )
Also today: durable goods orders in the United States for the July mail at 8:30 am ET.
Coming tomorrow: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell kicks off a virtual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole.