Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

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!
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The EV startup Nikola Corp.'s stock fell Thursday after a financial research firm published a report claiming the electric and fuel cell truck startup is an "intricate fraud."

Catch up quick: It comes just two days after Nikola's shares jumped on the news that GM is taking an 11% stake in the company, is engineering and building its Badger pickup, and will supply key battery and fuel cell tech.

Driving the news: Hindenburg Research alleges Nikola has made a series of deceptive statements.

  • They include falsely claiming to possess proprietary tech, and releasing deceptive video of the Nikola One semitruck in operation.
  • "Nikola had the truck towed to the top of a hill on a remote stretch of road and simply filmed it rolling down the hill," the report states.
  • CNET has much more on Hindenburg's allegations here.

Of note: Hindenburg is short Nikola — that is, they make money when the share price falls.

Threat level: If some of the claims prove true, it could slow the rush of capital into unproven EV startups, especially via deals to take them public via mergers with special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.

  • These SPAC deals are all the rage lately. It's how Nikola went public in June, and EV startups Canoo, Lordstown Motors and Fisker have all announced SPAC deals in recent weeks.

Quick take: Axios chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon says the Nikola flap could cast a pall over SPAC deals more broadly.

  • "SPACs have historically been viewed as a bit shady," he says, pointing to a reputation they have recently been shedding.
  • "If the Hindenburg allegations hold up, investors will be that much less likely to trust future SPACs in this — or any — industry."

What they're saying: "We have retained leading law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP to evaluate potential legal recourse, including with respect to the activist short seller and any others acting in concert," a separate statement published Friday reads.

Meanwhile, GM said in a statement: “We are fully confident in the value we will create by working together."  

Go deeper

The workaday path to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
1 hour ago - Health

A safe, sane survival guide

Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months:

Get Axios AM in your inbox

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!