Retail trading craze goes global, driving markets | Shares in mortgage giant rise in post-IPO trading | Labor Dept. blocks fiduciary rule comment period extension
August 7, 2020
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The flood of retail traders into US markets during the coronavirus lockdowns, spurred by the advent of easy-to-use zero-fee trading apps, has kicked off a global trend. "The line between institutional and retail continues to blur, and retail certainly have shown their ability to move markets," says Interactive Brokers' Asia Pacific managing director David Friedland.
Full Story: Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (8/6),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/6),  The Hill (8/6) 
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Industry Update
Shares of Rocket, parent company of Quicken Loans, sold for $18 each in the company's initial public offering and reached $21.51 by the end of the first day of post-IPO trading. Shortly before the IPO, the company cut the size of the offering by a third and agreed to a listing price lower than previously planned.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/6) 
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The Labor Department has denied a request by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to extend the comment period on its latest proposed fiduciary rule and hold a public hearing on the measure. "I'm incredibly frustrated that the Trump administration is charging ahead so recklessly with a proposal that could lead to retirement savers losing billions of dollars a year due to conflicted advice," Murray said.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (8/6) 
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The Trump administration has proposed forcing Chinese companies to comply with US audit requirements or give up their listings on US stock exchanges. Chinese companies already trading on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market would be required to comply by 2022, while privately held companies would have to comply before going public on US exchanges.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/6),  Financial Times (subscription required) (8/6) 
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New York Focus
A new law in New York makes the manufacture and sale of alcohol-infused ice cream legal there. "The craft beverage industry has experienced explosive growth in New York, and with that comes a responsibility to advance regulations that help ensure long-term viability, protect consumers and provide farmers with opportunities to increase their business," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed the order Monday.
Full Story: The Hill (8/5) 
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The William Vale is making a sales lure of New York's 14-day quarantine for many out-of-state visitors by offering an array of perks ranging from private transportation to virtual workout classes. Safety is paramount with the luxury Williamsburg hotel's Q with a View package that features contactless housekeeping and COVID-19 checks.
Full Story: Forbes (8/5) 
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People & Personalities
A full Senate voice vote has confirmed President Donald Trump's nominations of Hester Peirce and Caroline Crenshaw to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Peirce's term runs to June 5, 2025; Crenshaw's expires on June 5, 2024.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (8/6) 
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On The Economy
Initial unemployment claims decreased to about 1.2 million last week, the lowest tally since March, according to the Labor Department. The decline came after a plateau in applications in recent weeks.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/6) 
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Weekly business data from various sources increasingly suggest the US economic recovery is faltering. The number of shifts worked by hourly employees has stopped growing and foot traffic in retail establishments is on the decline.
Full Story: Reuters (8/6) 
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Consumers reduced their household debt for the first time in six years in the second quarter, as nonessential spending fell in response to the coronavirus shutdown, a New York Federal Reserve survey finds. The largest drop was for credit card balances, which fell by $76 billion to around $820 billion.
Full Story: Reuters (8/6),  Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (8/6),  Financial Times (subscription required) (8/6) 
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Financial Products
T. Rowe Price brought to NYSE Arca four actively-managed exchange-traded funds. The Blue Chip Growth ETF, the Dividend Growth ETF, the Equity Income ETF and the Growth Stock ETF are run by the same portfolio managers that make investments for the company's mutual funds with similar names.
Full Story: ETF Trends (8/5),  Financial Advisor online (8/5) 
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CFA Society New York News
Hear from Tapiwa Sikipa, senior portfolio manager in the World Bank Treasury, about how it is handling the current crisis.
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This boot camp is an intensive, instructor-led training program where trainees learn financial and valuation modeling in Excel using an intuitive, step-by-step approach. Participants will use real case studies to build financial models from scratch the way it is done at financial institutions. The program is a synthesis of Excel modeling, navigating through various financial reports and the application of Accounting, Corporate Finance and Valuation courses. Members get a 20% discount.
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