The deluge of trading activity in US equities and derivatives markets is expected to produce a windfall for the high-speed market makers that execute orders for brokers such as Robinhood and Charles Schwab.
Market makers including Virtu Financial, Citadel Securities, Susquehanna and Two Sigma look set to be among the enduring winners from the burst of activity driven by retail investors, as the run-up in shares such as GameStop appeared to be reversing. GameStop’s stock dropped 60 per cent on Tuesday.
Shares in Virtu, the only publicly traded US market maker, are up 11 per cent this year, compared with less than 2 per cent for the US equity market as a whole.
The emergence of a new generation of day traders swapping investment ideas on social media sites including Reddit culminated last week in a surge of trading activity never before seen in US financial markets.
Janet Yellen, US Treasury secretary, is to convene a meeting of top financial regulators this week to discuss the market volatility. Later this month, Vlad Tenev, Robinhood’s co-founder, is expected to be grilled in Washington over his company’s role in the saga.
The price of silver, which retail buyers piled into this week, also retreated rapidly on Tuesday, falling as much as 8 per cent. History shows the metal’s limited value as a shelter in catastrophic financial collapse, writes Brendan Greeley. (FT, Bloomberg, Reuters)
The US is setting up a forecasting service that aims to do for diseases what the weather service does for meteorology, writes Anjana Ahuja.
Keep up with the latest on our live blog and follow the global race to vaccinate with our tracker.
Amazon’s Bezos to step aside Amazon chief executive and founder Jeff Bezos will step aside later this year to become executive chairman, making way for Andy Jassy, who currently heads its cloud computing division, AWS, to replace him in the role.
Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest Aung San Suu Kyi is under house arrest in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw after the coup that overthrew her government. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday but was unable to agree on a statement calling for a return to civilian power in Myanmar. (FT, AFP)
Scotland independence costlier than Brexit Independence from the UK would cost Scotland’s economy up to three times as much in lost trade as Brexit will, according to analysis from the London School of Economics.
Alexei Navalny sentenced to 3.5 years in jail The Russian opposition activist was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison following a tense hearing in Moscow on Tuesday, in a case widely seen as an attempt to neutralise President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic. (FT)
Italy turns to Draghi President Sergio Mattarella has asked Mario Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank, to begin talks to form a new government of national unity as Italy battles the pandemic. (FT)
Hungary and Poland take on Big Tech ‘censors’ The two countries intend to take measures against social media companies to fight what they believe is bias against conservatives. The announcement was made as the EU struggles to adopt a co-ordinated approach to policing online content. (FT)
Democrats say evidence Trump incited mob is ‘overwhelming’ In a brief filed on Tuesday, House Democrats — who will act as impeachment managers, or prosecutors, in the Senate trial beginning next week — said Donald Trump had “singular responsibility” for the “tragedy”. Mr Trump’s legal team filed its own brief denying the former president’s responsibility in the January 6 Capitol riot. (FT, CNBC)
Big Oil’s record losses Some of the world’s biggest energy groups reported record annual losses on Tuesday. ExxonMobil racked up losses of more than $20bn, the first annual loss in its history, while BP announced its first annual loss since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. (FT)
US to review asylum process Joe Biden will order a review of the treatment of asylum seekers from Central and South America and set up a task force to reunite children and parents separated at the border as he continues to overhaul the US immigration system. (FT)
Top FTSE 100 black representation at zero The number of black people at the top of Britain’s biggest listed companies has fallen to zero, according to research by Green Park. In the US, corporations are scrambling to achieve, or be seen to achieve, racial equity. But now is the time to move beyond words, writes Patti Waldmeir. (FT)
N Ireland border tensions Michael Gove will call on the European Commission on Wednesday to extend “grace periods” for checks on post-Brexit trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland amid increased border tensions and threats of violence.
Rate decisions Expect announcements from policymakers in Thailand, Iceland and Poland.
Earnings round-up PayPal, Siemens, Sony, GSK, Spotify, Santander, Volvo, MetLife, eBay, Yahoo Japan, CNH Industrial, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Qualcomm report earnings. (FT)
EU settlement deadline beckons Campaigners have expressed alarm at the number of European migrants who may be ignorant of the need to apply to remain in Britain after a June deadline imposed as part of the post-Brexit immigration system — a move that threatens to strip them of their rights. (FT)
Containing China is not an option How should the US respond to a rising China? One can see the domestic political advantage of containment: common enemies may unify a divided country. But is this really a feasible policy? Martin Wolf believes the answer is no. A simulated attack on a US aircraft carrier last week, in particular, was a challenge from Beijing. (FT)
Can Biden deliver for black voters? “You’ve always had my back, and I’ll have yours,” Joe Biden said when he was declared the presidential election victor. He is now under pressure to show that he can deliver for the African-Americans who proved so crucial to his winning campaign. (FT)
Lex in depth: how carbon prices will transform industry With freak weather, crop failure and forced migration, climate change is imposing ever-higher costs, particularly on carbon. Putting a price on emissions will supercharge investment in greener technologies — and cripple businesses that cannot adapt. (FT)
Keep zombie companies alive There is a case for sparing zombie companies a little longer, Kate Allen writes. Businesses that would have gone bankrupt regardless of the pandemic have been kept alive thanks to the unprecedented stimulus measures in the past year to support the global economy, IMF data suggest. (FT)
How can my small business survive Covid? This week, Claer Barrett meets Lowri, who runs a small events business and is one of an estimated 3m people in the UK who has fallen through the cracks of government support. Listen to the episode on FT.com, Spotify, Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen.