10 things before the opening bell
Let's jump in.
1. The Trump SPAC is back. But this time it isn't eye-popping returns that are making headlines. Digital World SPAC soared when it announced it would take the former president's new media company public. Now, Senator Elizabeth Warren is asking the SEC to investigate it on the grounds of potential securities violations.
"Reports that Digital World Acquisition may have violated securities laws and harmed investors during its acquisition of Trump Media and Technology Group are deeply troubling," Warren wrote in a letter to SEC chairman Gary Gensler on Wednesday.
There are reports of private, undisclosed meetings between Digital World and Trump Media as early as May 2021, even though the SPAC didn't start trading until September. When it did launch, retail traders and big firms alike made a killing on its meme-like price jump.
The SPAC boom over the last two years has been rife with allegations of shady dealings, and Warren's letter reiterated concerns that SPAC deals can exploit retail investors in particular, "to the benefit of large institutional investors."
Details of Trump Media's social media platform are sparse as is, but if the SEC answers Warren's call to investigate, things could get interesting.
2. US stocks are waiting for a catalyst, and a Biden decision on Fed chair could give them one. COVID-19 fears are back in Europe as Austria brings in compulsory vaccinations and full lockdown. Here are the latest moves on the market.
3. Now is the time to buy property. That's according to a 26-year-old who owns 1,300 rental units. He shared why soaring prices shouldn't discourage investors from buying into the current real estate market.
4. Earnings on deck: Foot Locker, American Shipping Company, and Tokio Marine Holdings, all reporting.
5. Cathie Wood is whittling down Ark's Zillow holdings. Ark Invest's flagship fund has dumped nearly all of its Zillow shares, going from about 6.8 million to just 828 this month. Wood cited a "fundamental change in the story."
6. "The Big Short" investor Michael Burry has made it clear he isn't betting on Tesla. He has ridiculed the automaker's valuation and suggested that Elon Musk knows the stock is overpriced. Here are Burry's best tweets about Musk, Tesla, and the EV boom.
7. TIME Magazine is adding ether to its holdings for the first time. The publication financed a deal entirely in ether with crypto firm Galaxy Digital, and will produce metaverse-related content. TIME says the deal is a first among media companies.
8. A Federal court dismissed a class action lawsuit by retail investors against Robinhood and Citadel Securities. The suit claimed the two firms conspired to halt meme-stock trading of GameStop in January. The district court judge said there wasn't enough evidence to prove wrongdoing.
9. Investors are adding energy stocks to their holiday shopping lists as 2021 winds down, Bank of America data shows. Inflows to the sector were the highest since at least 2008, while money flowed out of tech. See how all 11 S&P 500 sectors look heading into 2022.
10. Veteran trader Greg Magadini co-founded a crypto startup that offers options analytics and volatility tools for investors. To help traders reduce risk, he's brought his 12 years of experience in options trading to Genesis Volatility. He broke down 3 options trades that could generate between 30% and 500% returns.
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