Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AMC has learned its lesson from the meme winter, and is determined to use the meme summer to its advantage. That's the lesson from last week's wild action in AMC stock, much of which was orchestrated by the company itself.

Why it matters: There's a case to be made that AMC only managed to avoid bankruptcy by getting caught up in the meme-stock craze of January, when its share price first became divorced from fundamentals.

  • The company might not be able to make money by selling movie tickets, but it's proving itself a master of bringing in money by selling share certificates.

How it works: AMC has steadily issued new stock, most recently on Thursday, when it sold more than 11 million shares in less than three hours, netting $587.4 million — more than the entire company's equity value at the beginning of the year.

  • By the numbers: The total number of AMC Class A shares outstanding has risen tenfold from 50 million this time last year, to 500 million today. As a result, the company's market capitalization has risen even faster than its stratospheric share price.

The big picture: When GameStop first started heading to the moon, the overwhelming consensus was that the stock had become a pure gambling vehicle that was inevitably going to crash, creating massive losses for people who bought into the hype.

  • Those losses didn't happen: GameStop stock continues to trade at extremely elevated levels, raising the prospect that meme stocks can actually be (very risky) investments, rather than just short-term trades.
  • Once meme stocks become a potential investment, companies can take advantage of that fact by issuing new shares on the capital market — just as other risky companies like Tesla have done in the past.

The difference between Tesla and AMC is that AMC isn't a technology stock with the potential to dominate the world. It's just a chain of movie theaters, struggling in the face of a long-term secular decline in Americans' desire to see any but the very biggest movies outside the home.

  • Short-sellers beware: The similarity between the the two companies is that both have large and enthusiastic retail investor bases. AMC, just like Tesla before it, is proof that once retail investors dominate a stock, its trajectory is unlikely to behave in a familiar manner.

Reality check: Bank of America will stop covering GameStop, and plans to suspend its rating of Bed Bath & Beyond, saying the shares no longer trade on fundamentals.

The bottom line: Capital markets are playing by new rules, and regulators are understandably loathe to get involved, even if there are risks to the public's broad faith in efficient markets.

  • Hertz stock, for instance, is now trading — on fundamentals! — at higher levels than it was last year while going through bankruptcy. The SEC prevented a stock sale back then, in a move that now looks as though it was preventing a trade that would have been beneficial for both the company and its investors.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Quartz, NYT vets launch new media company about work

Photo credit: Emma Howells for Charter

Quartz co-founders Kevin Delaney and Jay Lauf, along with New York Times veteran Erin Grau, are launching a new media and services company called "Charter" that is centered around the future of work, the founders told Axios.

Why it matters: "There are other media companies that write about this topic — some occasionally and some more frequently, but it's one topic among many things that they do," Delaney said. "This is a driving focus for us."

Biden endorses bill to end sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration endorsed a bill Tuesday that would end sentencing disparities for crack versus powder cocaine offenses.

The big picture: Supporting the legislation follows through on one of Biden's campaign promises. But it's a shift from decades ago, when Biden spearheaded efforts to pass the legislation that implemented the disparities in the first place.

White House to acknowledge U.S. will miss July 4 vaccination goal

Fireworks in New York City to celebrate the state reaching a 70% vaccination rate. Photo: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to acknowledge on Tuesday it will likely miss its goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4, NBC News first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: Despite falling short of the goal, the White House still believes most Americans will be safe to fully celebrate Independence Day, as COVID-19 cases and deaths remain at low levels throughout much of the country.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!