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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The mood has shifted and balance sheets and profits seem to matter to equity investors again, as the recent debuts of large, money-losing companies have been punished by the market.
Driving the news: Shares of smart stationary bike company Peloton opened down 7% and closed 11% below their $29 IPO price to mark the third-worst performance for an IPO that raised more than $1 billion since the financial crisis, Bloomberg data showed.
Why it matters: As the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, triggering depressed economic data and heightened recession fears globally, investors have gotten more selective about what stocks they want to buy.
Between the lines: Peloton, like Lyft and Uber, is a company that loses more money as it grows.
What they're saying: “We totally understand the sentiment today,” CFO Jill Woodworth told Bloomberg. “As I’ve seen over the last couple of decades, there’s always been different periods of time when people focus on growth and when people focus on profitability.”
What they're not saying: Peloton may also be hurt by its dual-class share structure that gives certain owners, including its CEO, 20 votes for each share they own. Public investors only get 1 vote per share.
The bottom line: The unimpressive market performance of Peloton, Lyft, Uber and SmileDirectClub has poured ice cold water on 2019's stock market IPO euphoria.
They may not turn a profit, but unprofitable companies are still bringing in giant sacks of cash from investors. Even with the recent shift in taste from the stock market, money-losing companies have managed to raise funding in their IPOs at the fastest pace since the dot-com bubble.
Crying to the bank: Despite a rocky first day on the Nasdaq, Peloton founder John Foley still earned himself $427 million, thanks to the money raised in the IPO. Tiger Global Management, which owns a 20% stake, made about a $1 billion return on its initial investment.
The big picture: Unprofitable companies overall are performing well in the stock market in 2019, thanks to the initial pops of Beyond Meat, Chewy, CrowdStrike Holdings and other high risers earlier in the year.
Marijuana advocates scored a big win Thursday with the passage of the SAFE Act through the U.S. House of Representatives, but the market was less enthusiastic.
What it means: The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act would allow marijuana companies to more easily do business with federally insured banks in the U.S.
What happened: Marijuana stocks initially soared in after-hours trading Wednesday, with Aurora Cannabis gaining more than 5% and Canopy Growth jumping 4%, but those gains were short-lived.
The big picture: Matt Hawkins, managing principal at Cresco Capital Partners, told Fortune yesterday he expects to see a “heavy influx” of cannabis-related IPO registrations on the Nasdaq and NYSE because the bill would further solidify the viability of the U.S. marijuana industry.
Reality check: Pot stocks are in need of some good news. It's been almost all downhill since March after a world-beating rally to start the year.
U.S. economic growth is returning to around the 2% level that economists see as trend or the economy's neutral level, data shows.
By the numbers: Second quarter GDP was unrevised at 2% and estimates for the third and fourth quarters look to be around that level.
Fun fact: If the U.S. Latino population were an independent nation, it would be the 8th largest economy on earth, the third fastest growing economy in the world, and the fastest growing developed market economy, according to the 2019 U.S. Latino GDP Report.
Pulled down by more loose monetary policy from the ECB and weak European growth data, the euro fell to its lowest level in 2 years against the dollar Thursday.
The intrigue: "The biggest story in the world right now is the whistle blower's complaint on President Trump but the biggest story in the forex market is the persistent decline in the euro," BK Asset Management managing director of FX strategy Kathy Lien wrote in a note to clients.
With the liquidation announcement of U.K.-based tour operator Thomas Cook, the number of corporate defaults in 2019 now matches the total from all of 2018 and is set to exceed it, according to data from S&P Global Ratings.
What they're saying: "The media and entertainment sector is the third-highest contributor to defaults so far in 2019, with eight, having surpassed its 2018 year-end total of six," said Sudeep Kesh, head of S&P Global credit markets research, in a release.
Of note: The number of defaults in Europe has topped its 2018 year-to-date tally, S&P said.
Editor's note: Yesterday's Axios Markets was corrected to show William Miller was Fed chair from 1978-1979 (not 1979-1981).