CNN: Stocks surged in 2021, as Wall Street rolled its eyes at Covid

CNN: Stocks surged in 2021, as Wall Street rolled its eyes at Covid. “The Dow fell about 65 points in late morning trading Friday, or 0.2%. It is up 19% this year. The Nasdaq was down 0.3% Friday and has gained 22% in 2021 while the S&P 500, which fell 0.2%, is up more than 27% this year. It’s the third straight year of gains for all three major indexes, which are each not far from record highs. In fact, the S&P 500 has closed at an all-time high 70 times this year.”

Bleeping Computer: Russian hackers made millions by stealing SEC earning reports

Bleeping Computer: Russian hackers made millions by stealing SEC earning reports. “A Russian national working for a cybersecurity company has been extradited to the U.S. where he is being charged for hacking into computer networks of two U.S.-based filing agents used by multiple companies to file quarterly and annual earnings through the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) system.”

Business Insider: Search the assets, investments, outside employment, and debts of congressional lawmakers using Insider’s exclusive databases

Business Insider: Search the assets, investments, outside employment, and debts of congressional lawmakers using Insider’s exclusive databases. “Insider has compiled and analyzed hundreds of US House and Senate financial disclosures to create a searchable, sortable, and near-complete accounting of members of Congress’ personal finances. The databases — one for the Senate and one for the House — include members of Congress’ individual assets, stock transactions, debts, and other outside income. They are the most complete and detailed public accounting of the individual finances of federal lawmakers.”

Business Insider: Members of Congress publicly blast Facebook but quietly invest their savings in the social-media giant

Business Insider: Members of Congress publicly blast Facebook but quietly invest their savings in the social-media giant. “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Facebook shameful and irresponsible. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon suggested prison time for the tech giant’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. Rep. Ro Khanna of California said Facebook should be broken up. But despite their tough talk toward the social-media behemoth, all three of those Democratic lawmakers or their spouses stood to gain financially from Facebook. They were among at least 32 lawmakers in the House and Senate — including both Democrats and Republicans — whose families held investments in the tech company during 2020, according to an Insider investigation of lawmakers’ most recent financial disclosures.”

Business Insider: As the pandemic raged, at least 75 lawmakers bought and sold stock in companies that make COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and tests

Business Insider: As the pandemic raged, at least 75 lawmakers bought and sold stock in companies that make COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and tests. “Dozens of Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill have invested in companies that have a direct stake in the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an Insider analysis of federal financial records.”

Bloomberg: Getty Images to Go Public in Deal With CC Neuberger SPAC

Bloomberg: Getty Images to Go Public in Deal With CC Neuberger SPAC. “The deal values the Seattle-based licensing provider of stock and news photos at $4.8 billion including debt, according to a statement Friday. The agreement with CC Neuberger Principal Holdings II involves a total equity investment of $1.2 billion. That includes funds raised by the special purpose acquisition company and a $150 million private investment in public equity, or Pipe.”

NiemanLab: How researchers used decades of Wall Street Journal articles to predict stock market returns

NiemanLab: How researchers used decades of Wall Street Journal articles to predict stock market returns . “Financial news articles can be a good short-term indicator of why the U.S. stock market is doing well or poorly, finds a new working paper, ‘Business News and Business Cycles,’ from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Based on a full-text analysis of 763,887 Wall Street Journal articles published from 1984 to 2017, the authors find that news coverage of particular topics, like signs of a looming recession, predicts 25% of average fluctuations in stock market returns.”

MarketWatch: Robinhood says customer data was accessed in breach, stock falls in after-hours

MarketWatch: Robinhood says customer data was accessed in breach, stock falls in after-hours . “In a post on the company’s blog, Robinhood disclosed that a customer-support employee was tricked into giving access to systems late on Nov. 3. The hacker was then able to access a list of about 5 million email addresses as well as full names for about 2 million customers, with a smaller subset of customers — 310, according to Robinhood — potentially having more data at risk.”

The Verge: Donald Trump’s new social media SPAC, explained

The Verge: Donald Trump’s new social media SPAC, explained. “Trump announced Wednesday night that he has a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) and that he would be merging this new company with a SPAC called Digital World Acquisition Company (DWAC). If completed, the deal would turn Trump’s new media company into one that’s publicly traded on the Nasdaq. And it would give TMTG enough money to get a new Twitter clone off the ground called ‘Truth.’ The surprise deal is already turning DWAC into a meme stock, and it raises a fair number of questions.” I promise I will not let this particular topic take over the newsletter, but I will always have time for thorough, cogent explanations of financial/investment issues.

The Guardian: Reddit reportedly hires bankers and lawyers as it aims for $15bn IPO

The Guardian: Reddit reportedly hires bankers and lawyers as it aims for $15bn IPO. “Reddit is seeking to hire investment bankers and lawyers for an initial public offering in New York, two people familiar with the matter told the Reuters news agency. Reddit was valued at $10bn in a private fundraising round last month. By the time the IPO would take place early next year, the online message board company is hoping it will be valued at more than $15bn, one of the sources said.”

Wall Street Journal: The Social-Media Stars Who Move Markets

Wall Street Journal: The Social-Media Stars Who Move Markets. “Total users at the six top online brokerages, which are used mainly by individual investors, topped 100 million in 2021. At Robinhood Financial LLC, the investing app popular among younger investors, accounts have grown explosively, from 7.2 million in March of 2020 to 18 million a year later, according to company financial filings. Along with the rise of commission-free online trading has come demand for advice at the lowest price in the most accessible place: free, and online. Now, a new generation of Jim Cramers has risen up on social media with massive followings as guides to these market newbies.”

GameStop stock hearing: How to watch Robinhood and Reddit CEOs testify before Congress (CNET)

CNET: GameStop stock hearing: How to watch Robinhood and Reddit CEOs testify before Congress. “On Thursday, Feb. 18, the House Committee on Financial Services is holding a virtual hearing, titled ‘Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide.’ The chief executives of Reddit, Robinhood, Citadel and Melvin Capital will be in attendance, along with the Reddit poster who spearheaded the GameStop buying frenzy. Here’s how to watch the hearing and some background on what led to Congress getting involved.”

Bloomberg: A Battle for Control of WallStreetBets May Have Broken Out

Bloomberg: A Battle for Control of WallStreetBets May Have Broken Out. “A fight appears to be brewing on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum, and it’s not over which stock is the next GameStop Corp. Just weeks after the site was used to galvanize an epic short squeeze in shares of the video-game retailer, forcing the real Wall Street to reckon with the power of a united front of traders, signs of dissent are cropping up around the 8.5 million-member stock message board.”