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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lyft raised $2.34 billion on Thursday in an IPO that was 20 times oversubscribed. In other words, the underwriters received about $47 billion of orders for Lyft shares — more than double the market capitalization of the entire company.

The Levi Strauss IPO, last week, was 10 times oversubscribed. A raft of other IPOs could raise as much as $100 billion on U.S. markets alone this year. Uzbekistan's recent global bond offering was more than 5 times oversubscribed, and came on the heels of a similar bond from Tajikistan, which was 8 times oversubscribed.

Where's the money coming from? In a word, buybacks. So far this year, U.S. companies have spent $253 billion buying back their own stock from investors. Most of those investors don't want to exit the stock market entirely, so they need to reinvest the proceeds elsewhere. IPOs are one of the few areas that companies are actually asking for new equity capital.

Be smart: Underwriters have every incentive to exaggerate the amount of demand they receive for their offerings. And once a deal is oversubscribed, many investors will artificially inflate their orders, in the knowledge that their final allocation will end up being scaled back. Still, much of the demand is real — and is likely to remain elevated as long as American companies continue to flood investors with cash.

Go deeper

North Carolina police pepper-spray protesters marching to the polls

Officers in North Carolina used pepper spray on protesters and arrested eight people at a get-out-the-vote rally at Alamance County’s courthouse Saturday during the final day of early voting, the City of Graham Police Department confirmed.

Driving the news: The peaceful "I Am Change" march to the polls was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, from the Citadel Church in Greensboro, N.C., and included a minute's silence for George Floyd. Melanie Mitchell told the News & Observer her daughters, age 5 and 11, were among those pepper-sprayed by police soon after.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.
6 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.