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Good evening folks. Happy Hump Day! ๐Ÿช

Stocks bounced today – the Russell 2000 ripped 1.48%, adding to yesterdayโ€™s gains. The Dow and Nasdaq both increased 1% or more.ย 

Energy stole the show again. ๐Ÿ”‹ ๐Ÿ”‹ Energy ETF $XLE exploded 3.08% and recovered nearly all of Monday and Tuesdayโ€™s losses. Communications and utilities were today’s losers.

Bitcoin bounced 6.9% and broke its three-day losing streak. Ethereum edged above $3K thanks to a 9.6% gain.

The Federal Reserve kept interest rates near zero on Wednesday, but hinted that rate rises may come sooner than expected. The Fed also downgraded its economic forecast for the year. ๐Ÿ“‰

Ambarella Inc ascended 10.4% to new highs after partnering with Dongfeng Motor Group to build a Driver Monitoring System. $AMBA was also upgraded to overweight from KeyBanc.ย 

$ATOM.X accelerated 28.65%, $DVAX rose 26.45%, and $ARQQ appreciated 12.8%.

Here are the closing prints:ย 

S&P 500 4,395 +0.95%
Nasdaq 14,896 +1.02%
Russell 2000 2,218 +1.48%
Dow Jones 34,258 +1.00%

Policy

Light at the End of the Tunnel ๐Ÿคž

Light at the End of the Tunnel ๐Ÿคž Featured Image

The Federal Reserve isn’t quite ready to raise interest rates, but they’ve provided investors with high hopes for taper time later this year. ๐Ÿ™

As the pandemic ramped up in early 2020, the Fed committed to purchasing $120 billion worth of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities every month. By purchasing the assets, the Fed puts its arm on the scale, which arguably keeps prices stable.

By tapering purchases of assets (namely bonds), the Fed will begin to let the market return to relative normalcy. Tapering is the step that precedes raising interest rates, which is expected to happen next year. ๐Ÿ“ˆ

A stronger-than-expected Summer recovery pushed forward the rate hike from 2023, but a disappointing August jobs report prompted the Fed to err on the side of caution. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that he wanted to see more progress in employment numbers before making any aggressive moves.

The markets rose today on the news, a stark turn from the turmoil earlier this week caused by China’s Evergrande. ๐Ÿ˜ช Stocks and crypto both rallied and found some green. ๐Ÿ’š



IPOs

A Toast to Toast’s IPO ๐Ÿฅ‚

A Toast to Toast’s IPO ๐Ÿฅ‚ Featured Image

Restaurant-tech company Toast popped today in its market debut. ๐Ÿฅ‚ Toast’s stock rose 56%, valuing the company at roughly $20 billion.

This is a far cry from where the company was last April after laying off half of its workforce. Toast was battered by restaurant closures. The company has bounced back off from the deep declines, however, delivering robust revenue throughout 2021. ๐Ÿ‘ In 2020, Toast’s revenue was up 24% to $823.1 million. In Q2 2021, the company made more than half of the revenue it did in 2020 ($424.7 million.)

Toast is like Square, but specifically for restaurants. The company’s tech allows restaurants to offer takeout, online orders, gift card purchases, and accept payments. For consumers, the Toast app allows users to make pickup and delivery orders (and sometimes even collect loyalty points in the process.)ย 

The company makes the bulk of its money from payments, which comprise over 80% of total revenue. The remaining 20% comes from sales of hardware, subscription services, and other services. As of IPO, the company is not profitable. It posted a net loss of $135.5 million in Q2 2021.ย 

However, that certainly hasn’t scared investors off, as they’re excited about the company’s growth prospects. $TOST closed the trading day at $62.51. ๐Ÿ’ธ


IPOs

The “Salesforce of India” Comes to Market

The “Salesforce of India” Comes to Market Featured Image

As it turns out, Toast wasn’t the only big IPO of the day. Freshworks, dubbed “Salesforce’s Indian rival,” hit it big in its own market debut today. ๐Ÿฆ„ โœจ

Freshworks is India’s oldest unicorn in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) biz, making it one of the most prominent Indian startups to IPO this year. Among the other high-profile names gearing up to go public are Paytm and Flipkart. Because of India’s tech prospects, these listings have become buzzy among investors worldwide. ๐Ÿ

In 2020, the company reported revenue of $249.7 million. So far in 2021 (Q1 and Q2), the company has reported $168.9 million in revenue. Freshworks also reports having over 50,000 customers, which includes international clients.

The company is expected to become profitable partially because of the favorable economics resulting from its India location, according to several analysts. In early 2021, the company’s net loss began to narrow.

$FRSH rose 32% today from its offering price of $36. Freshworks closed out the day at $47.55, which values the company at over $10 billion. ๐Ÿ’ฐ ๐Ÿ’ฐ


Stocks

Something EAR-ie Is Going On

Have you heard of $EAR?

Eargo (ticker: $EAR) is a medical device company whose stock plummeted 50.67% after hours. Eargo makes hearing aids that can be shipped directly to your door. The devices are intended for moderate high-frequency hearing loss โ€ฆ so whatโ€™s with the price plunge? ๐Ÿคฏ

Well, the US Department of Justice announced its criminal investigation of Eargo โ€œrelated to insurance reimbursement claims the Company has submitted on behalf of its customers covered by federal employee health plans.โ€ Just last month, the company reported revenue up 43.7% YoY. ๐Ÿ˜…

Hmm. There could be something ear-ie going on with the hearing aid device industry โ€” after all, Congress passed a law in 2017 permitting over-the-counter sales of hearing aids in order to lower the products’ prices.

Could that have something to do with $EARโ€™s extraordinary dip? Maybe, but only time will tellโ€ฆ

In the meantime, check out $EAR’s hideous daily chart:ย 


NFTs

LaLiga Joins the Non-Fungible League

LaLiga Joins the Non-Fungible League Featured Image

Dapper Labs, creator of NBA Top Shot, has announced a partnership with LaLiga, the leading soccer league which includes teams like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and more. ๐Ÿฅณ Today, the Canadian blockchain studio announced its soccer marketplace’s launch in the summer of 2022. โšฝ

Similar to the NBA Top Shot project (where fans can buy, sell, and trade NBA moments), Dapper’s partnership with LaLiga will sell video moments from current seasons and past decades. The marketplace will run on Dapperโ€™s Flow blockchain. Given the history of rivalries between LaLiga teams and fans, it’ll be interesting to see how they react to the new marketplace.ย 

Valued at $7.6 billion, Dapper Labs is among the most successful companies investing in the NFT boom. It has generated almost $700 million in sales this year. ๐Ÿค‘ ๐Ÿ’ธ Last week, Dapper Labs signed a multi-year partnership with tech giant Google to focus on the development of Web 3.0 products, including non-fungible tokens.ย