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GameStop surges 110% in the premarket as some trading restrictions are lifted

Robinhood said it will resume limited trading of previously restricted securities on Friday.

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Shares of GameStop, AMC and others rebounded aggressively in extended trading on Thursday after Robinhood said it will resume limited trading of previously restricted securities on Friday.

“Starting tomorrow, we plan to allow limited buys of these securities. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and may make adjustments as needed,” Robinhood said in a statement.

GameStop shares shot up 119% to trade at $424 in premarket trading, after closing down 44% to $193.60 during regular hours Thursday. The stock’s high for the week is $483.

Robinhood said its decision to restrict trading — which angered many users — was in order to comply with capital requirements mandated by the SEC for broker dealers.

“These requirements exist to protect investors and the markets and we take our responsibilities to comply with them seriously, including through the measures we have taken today,” the company said.

Amid the trading frenzy the company, which is widely expected to go public this year, has tapped some of its credit lines, according to someone familiar with the matter.

As retail investors piled into the market Robinhood, in addition to other retail brokerages, restricted trading in several names on Thursday. The free-stock trading app said that in some cases, investors would be able to only sell their positions and not open new ones.

In addition to GameStop, the restricted trading sent shares of AMC Entertainment and BlackBerry tumbling 56% and 41%, respectively, on Thursday.

AMC rebounded 70% in premarket trading. Bed Bath & Beyond was 15% higher.

Interactive Brokers took similar steps, and both it and Robinhood raised margin requirements on certain securities. It is not unusual to raise margin requirements, but the move to restrict trading was unusual and more extreme, which angered and confused some users.

Raising margin requirements increases how much money an investor using leverage and derivatives must have in their brokerage account after a stock purchase. TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab raised margin requirements on Wednesday.

The influence of retail investors — most apparent in GameStop — has captivated the Street in recent days, and speaks to a new class of traders who grew up amid the pandemic.

Individual investors are creating short squeezes by piling into names that hedge funds are betting against, forcing the funds to rush to cover their losses. This typically pushes shares even higher. Retail investors are promoting their activity on the WallStreetBets Reddit board, which has more than 3 million members. Some view it as small, retail investors pushing back against the Wall Street establishment.

Amid the meteoric pops — and then drops — some lawmakers are calling for an investigation. The Democratic leaders of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee said they would hold hearings.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was among the lawmakers to comment on the trading activity, saying in a tweet that Robinhood’s decision to limit trading was “unacceptable.” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz reposted Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet to his own page, writing, “Fully agree.”

Robinhood, whose mission is to democratize investing for all, has seen its users jump amid the pandemic, and the app now boasts more than 13 million users. Its expansion has come with some growing pains, including several outages on key market days. It’s also increasingly attracted the attention of lawmakers

Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said chaotic trading in the market was due to a lack of oversight from the SEC.

“We need an SEC that has clear rules about market manipulation and then has the backbone to get in and enforce those rules,” she said to CNBC. “To have a healthy stock market, you’ve got to have a cop on the beat.” The SEC did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Here’s the full statement from Robinhood:

“This past year, we’ve seen the financial markets become a voice for the voiceless. We’ve seen a new generation of people come into the markets, sparking conversations about what it means to be an investor. Our customers have shown the world that investing is for everyone—not just institutional investors and hedge funds.

Amid this week’s extraordinary circumstances in the market, we made a tough decision today to temporarily limit buying for certain securities. As a brokerage firm, we have many financial requirements, including SEC net capital obligations and clearinghouse deposits. Some of these requirements fluctuate based on volatility in the markets and can be substantial in the current environment. These requirements exist to protect investors and the markets and we take our responsibilities to comply with them seriously, including through the measures we have taken today.

Starting tomorrow, we plan to allow limited buys of these securities. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and may make adjustments as needed.

To be clear, this was a risk-management decision, and was not made on the direction of the market makers we route to. We’re beginning to open up trading for some of these securities in a responsible manner.

We stand in support of our customers and the freedom of retail investors to shape their own financial future. Democratizing finance has been our guiding star since our earliest days. We will continue to build products that give more people—not fewer—access to our financial system. We’ll keep monitoring market conditions as we look to restore full trading for these securities. We will update this Help Center article with the latest changes.

We are deeply grateful to our customers.”

– CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald, Leslie Picker, Tucker Higgins and Thomas Franck contributed reporting.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/28/robinhood-will-allow-limited-buying-of-restricted-securities-friday-gamestop-jumps-after-hours.html

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China orders Tencent to give up exclusive music licensing rights as crackdown continues

China’s antitrust regulator ordered Tencent to give up its exclusive licensing rights with international record labels and slapped a $$77,000 fine on the company.

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Chinese technology firm Tencent against the backdrop of China’s flag.

Budrul Chukrut | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

China’s antitrust regulator has ordered Tencent to give up its exclusive music licensing rights and slapped a fine on the company for anti-competitive behavior, as Beijing continues to crack down on its internet giants at home.

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) on Saturday imposed a fine of 500,000 yuan ($77,141) on the company citing violations in its acquisition of China Music in 2016.

Following that acquisition, Tencent owns more than 80% of exclusive music library resources, giving the company an advantage over its competitors as it is able to reach more exclusive deals with copyright holders, SAMR said in a statement.

The competition watchdog ordered Tencent and its affiliates to relinquish exclusive music rights within 30 days, and to end requirements for copyright holders to grant the company better treatment than to its competitors.

Tencent will have to report to the SAMR on its progress every year for three years, according to the statement, and the antitrust regulator will strictly supervise its implementation according to law.

In response, Tencent said in a statement it will “comply with all the regulatory requirements, fulfill our social responsibilities and contribute to healthy competition in the market.”

Tencent will work with affiliates, including Tencent Music Entertainment, to make those changes and ensure full compliance, it said.

China’s grip on internet giantsRead more about China from CNBC ProThe competition watchdog ordered Tencent and its affiliates to relinquish exclusive music rights within 30 days, and to end requirements for copyright holders to grant the company better treatment than to its competitors.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/24/china-crackdown-antitrust-regulator-orders-tencent-music-to-give-up-music-label-rights.html

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Earnings

Corporate Company Earnings, Find Earnings Per Share and Earnings History Online

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/earnings/

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Jeff Bezos reaches space on Blue Origin’s first crewed launch

Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin launched him into spaceflight history, riding the inaugural crew launch of a New Shepard rocket.

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VAN HORN, Texas — For 10 minutes and 10 seconds on Tuesday, Jeff Bezos wasn’t the richest man on Earth.

His Blue Origin company launched him into spaceflight history on Tuesday. Its first crewed New Shepard rocket blasted off from the Texas desert for the brief flight, also carrying his brother and the oldest and youngest people to ever have flown in space.

“Best day ever!” Bezos said after touchdown.

This photo provided by Blue Origin, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket lifts off Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The rocket is carrying passengers Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin, his brother Mark Bezos, Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk.

Blue Origin | AP

The capsule carrying the Blue Origin crew accelerated to more than three times the speed of sound before it reached beyond the 80 kilometer boundary (about 262,000 feet) the U.S. uses to mark the edge of space. The crew capsule reached an altitude of 107 kilometers (351,210 feet), and the rocket hit a top speed of 2,233 mph during the launch.

The crew floated in microgravity for a couple minutes, before the capsule returned and landed under a set of parachutes to end the mission after 10 minutes and 10 seconds.

The launch marked Blue Origin’s entrance into the market of private spaceflight, joining Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic — its direct competitor in the sector of suborbital tourism — and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Making history

In addition to his singular net worth, Bezos, 57, is also the only space founder to ride the first crewed flight of his company. While SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have launched astronauts before, Bezos is the first to put himself on the inaugural crew flight.

Floating next to him: Wally Funk, 82, and Oliver Daemen, 18 — respectively the oldest and youngest humans to ever fly in space — and Bezos’ brother, Mark, 53.

Billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of ecommerce company Amazon.com Inc, his brother Mark Bezos, a private equity executive, pioneering female aviator Wally Funk and recent Dutch high school graduate Oliver Daemen pose in an undated photograph, ahead of their scheduled flight aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket near Van Horn, Texas, U.S.

Blue Origin | Reuters

Bezos invited his brother and Funk, a female aerospace pioneer, to join the flight. Daemen was a late addition. His seat was originally part of a public auction, but the auction’s winner, an anonymous person who bid $28 million to fly with Bezos, was unable to make the July 20 launch date. Daemen’s father, Joes, CEO of a private equity firm in the Netherlands, was also a bidder, with Daemen scheduled to fly on Blue Origin’s second crew launch as a paying passenger. When the mystery bidder backed out, the company moved Daemen up to the first launch.

Tuesday’s launch also came on another historic milestone — the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Bezos’ space vision

New Shepard’s launch represents a milestone in its progress toward Bezos’ vision. He founded Blue Origin with the goal to create “a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth.”

The New Shepard rocket and the capsule that rides atop it are reusable, capable of launching, landing, and launching again multiple times. The rocket system is in many ways a pathfinder for Blue Origin’s other, larger scale projects — such as its orbital New Glenn rocket.

An artist’s illustration of a New Glenn rocket standing on the launchpad in Florida.

Blue Origin

Like New Shepard, the New Glenn rocket booster is designed to be reusable, with the company expecting each one to be capable of launching and landing 25 times. New Glenn, with an inaugural launch date target of late 2022, stands about 320 feet tall and is designed to lift nearly 50 tons of payload to low Earth orbit. The rockets are named after Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard and John Glenn, respectively the first American in space and the first American to orbit Earth. In 1998, then-77-year-old Sen. Glenn became the oldest person in space.

Blue Origin has also developed multiple engines to power both its rockets, including the BE-3, BE-4, and BE-7 engines.

Blue Origin tests one of the BE-4 rocket engines the company is developing to launch its New Glenn rocket.

Blue Origin | gif by @thesheetztweetz

Blue Origin is also working on a crewed lander called Blue Moon, which the company hopes to one day deliver astronauts and cargo to the lunar surface.

Space billionaires

Mural displaying Jeff Bezo and his brother Mark Bezo, is seen in Van Horn, Texas, two days before the scheduled launch of Blue Origin’s inaugural flight to the edge of space by billionaire American businessman Jeff Bezos and his three crewmates, in the nearby town of Van Horn, Texas, U.S. July 18, 2021.

Thom Baur | Reuters

The company’s only direct competition in the market of launching space tourists to the edge of space is Branson’s Virgin Galactic, a sector known as suborbital tourism. SpaceX is preparing to launch its first private mission in September, called Inspiration4, but Musk’s company sends its capsules further into space on multiday flights, in what is known as orbital tourism.

Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic have been developing rocket-powered spacecraft, but that is where the similarities end. While Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches vertically Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo system is released in the air and returns to Earth in a glide for a runway landing, like an aircraft.

And while Blue Origin launches autonomously, Virgin Galactic system is flown by two pilots. Branson’s company has flown four test spaceflights to date but does not expect to begin flying paying customers until 2022.

Blue Origin’s auction may have netted $28 million, but a seat on a suborbital spacecraft is typically much less expensive. Virgin Galactic has historically sold reservations between $200,000 and $250,000 per ticket, and more recently charged the Italian Air Force about $500,000 per ticket for a training spaceflight.

The tourism market is a nascent slice of the more than $420 billion space economy. Yet its high profile — given the much more thrilling human element — means it has a powerful and widespread influence over the space industry, with investors often pointing to astronaut flights as driving excitement about the broader implications of the extraterrestrial marketplace.

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The capsule carrying the Blue Origin crew accelerated to more than three times the speed of sound before it reached beyond the 80 kilometer boundary (about 262,000 feet) the U.S. uses to mark the edge of space. The crew capsule reached an altitude of 107 kilometers (351,210 feet), and the rocket hit a top speed of 2,233 mph during the launch.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/20/jeff-bezos-reaches-space-on-blue-origins-first-crewed-launch.html

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