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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

U.S. public companies sold more than $60 billion of their own stock last month, the largest monthly total ever.

Why it matters: Like the record $1 trillion of corporate debt issued so far this year, the equity sales show companies are looking to raise cash. But it also indicates many are dubious of the market's nearly 40% rally since March 23 and are cashing out ahead of a possible pullback.

What they're saying: “Issuers that have seen their stock prices recover are now also taking the perspective that they don’t want to miss this window in case this rebound is short-lived,” Santosh Sreenivasan, head of equity-linked capital markets for the Americas at JPMorgan, told Reuters.

  • Ryan Parrish, head of Americas equity capital markets syndicate at Bank of America, added: “We’re talking to a lot of companies around the fact that the market is here, you don’t know what lies in the economy to come."
  • “If you even remotely have a need you should get it done now.”

Between the lines: It hasn't just been companies with stock prices that have rebounded fully that are participating in the equity issuance bonanza.

  • Southwest Airlines and cruise operator Carnival issued new stock during the month, even as share prices remain 40% and 70% below January levels, respectively.
  • At their low points during the month, Southwest's stock was 65% below its Jan. 2 level and Carnival's was 75% lower.

Go deeper

German startup factory Rocket Internet to delist its stock

CEO Oliver Samwer. Photo: John Phillips/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Rocket Internet, the German startup factory infamous for copying other companies, said Tuesday that it will delist its stock, citing current greater availability of private capital than when it went public in 2014.

Between the lines: Despite producing and backing a number of successful companies like Zalando and HelloFresh, Rocket Internet's own stock has largely traded below its IPO price of €42.50 ($50.95) a share.

Wall Street's own populist revolt

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

A popular rebellion, organized by the powerless against the powerful. It might have failed in Washington, but it certainly seems to be working on Wall Street.

Driving the news: The market value of GameStop closed at more than $10 billion on Tuesday, on record volume of more than $26 billion.

12 mins ago - Health

One year of the pandemic

One year ago today, a novel coronavirus was barely beginning to catch the public's eye. There were just over 2,000 confirmed cases worldwide, mostly in China, and five cases in the U.S.

The big picture: The sea of red says it all. Today, there have been over 100,000 cases worldwide, led by the U.S. with 25 million.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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