The Short and Long of Recent Volatility March 2, 2020
The volatile start to 2021—with some heavily-shorted stocks unexpectedly skyrocketing in late January—seemed to have subsided. But with some of these stocks again on the rise, we ask what factors caused this volatility, how likely it is to repeat, what could prevent this, and what it signals about or for markets. We conclude that many factors led to the volatility, with a sharp and unusual underperformance of short positions—in part driven by retail investors—a key catalyst.
The IPO SPAC-Tacle February 2, 2020
The IPO market slammed shut in the first part of 2020 as pandemic uncertainty set in, only to open up with gusto in 2H even as risks around the virus and its economic impact remained high. This surprising strength following years of tepid IPO markets, as well as lofty valuations for newly public companies, have led to fears of an IPO “bubble”, especially in tech. Adding to these concerns has been a surge in IPOs via Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs)—public investment vehicles created to merge with a company, thereby bringing it public—which comprised over half of US IPOs in 2020.