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1/29/21: What’s Going On

GameStop, Bitcoin and more from around the business world.
(Laremenko Sergii)
(Laremenko Sergii)
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“The GameStop short squeeze saga caught the attention of Congress Thursday morning and that buzz is already panning out into hearings on the topic. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, announced plans for an investigation into the situation, pointing to a history of “predatory conduct” from hedge funds. Waters didn’t call out Robinhood or any other trading services by name, but did note that a future hearing would focus on the systemic financial impact of short selling, “gamification” and online trading platforms. The hearing date is not yet set.”

“Johnson & Johnson said its experimental Covid-19 vaccine was 66% effective at protecting people from moderate to severe disease in a large clinical trial, positive results that could pave the way for its deployment across the U.S. within weeks. The J&J vaccine also appeared to be generally safe and well tolerated among the 44,325 adults aged 18 years and older in the late-stage trial, J&J said Friday, though some of the volunteers reported side effects like fever.”

“Shares of Qualtrics International Inc., a spinoff from SAP SE, rose roughly 38% in its public-markets debut amid a surge of investor interest in the enterprise-software sector.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Chefclub$17 MillionFrench Startup Expanding Its Food Media Brand Beyond Social Networks
Sirenum$2.7 MillionA Platform For Managing Shift And Gig Workers

“Bitcoin investors need to be prepared to ‘lose all their money,’ European Central Bank governing council member Gabriel Makhlouf said, the latest warning from a central banker on the cryptocurrency.”

“Biogen Inc. gained in premarket trading after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended the review of its experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease, a sign its application for approval is getting careful consideration.”

“NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service sustained a loss of nearly $700 million last year on revenue of ‘over $100 million,’ the company said on Thursday. For last year and this year, Comcast expects Peacock to lose $2 billion, which implies this year’s loss will double last year’s.”

“Coinbase, the big cryptocurrency trading platform, announced Thursday it plans to go public via direct listing. That’s when a company directly sells its existing shares on the public markets without raising new capital.”

“Uber-like Chinese startup Full Truck Alliance is preparing for a U.S. initial public offering that could raise at least $1 billion as soon as this year, after eking out a slim 2020 profit thanks to a pandemic-era shipping surge.”

“McKinsey & Co. is close to reaching a settlement with state attorneys general over advice it gave to Purdue Pharma LP and other opioid manufacturers that have been targeted by states over their alleged role in fueling the nation’s opioid crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.”

“Tesla Inc. says its production plan for its new electric Semi heavy-duty truck remains in a low gear because the special battery cells the big rig needs are in short supply.”

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