Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. 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 the Axios Closer newsletter 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!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

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 the Axios Sports newsletter. 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!

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 the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

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 the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

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: Aïda Amer/Axios

Here’s a side effect of the going public boom: a heated race to reserve the hottest unique identifier, the ticker symbol.

Why it matters: The insignias companies are choosing to trade under is a reflection of our time — increasingly they want to go list with snappy symbols that catch the eye of a new generation of traders.

There’s a lot in a name. Studies show tickers that are actual words have advantages, including more popularity with retail investors, Bloomberg reported — noting the “MEME” symbol as a hot commodity.

  • More consumer-facing companies are opting for straightforward symbols, like the first four letters of their name or something directly aligned with their brand, one representative from an exchange tells Axios.
Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Note: Shows companies listed on NYSE, Nasdaq exchanges; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

That’s one possible reason behind the growing share of newly public companies listed with four-letter symbols.

  • Part of it could also be a function of what’s left to choose from. For instance, back in 2005, as many as nine of the hotly sought-after single-letter symbols were unoccupied. That’s dwindled down to four (I, N, Q, and more recently, P).
  • Cybersecurity firm SentinelOne started trading this summer under “S,” newly vacant after T-Mobile snapped up Sprint. (Sprint snagged it from Sears, five months after the retailer let the symbol go because it merged with K-Mart.)

Of note: As for the uptick in five-letter symbols (allowed only by the Nasdaq), blame the boom in SPACs, which often trade under them before finding a target.

Yes, but: New trading fads are forcing companies to switch up longtime ticker symbols to avoid confusion.

  • Furniture retailer Ethan Allen traded under “ETH” for 28 years. That ended last month after an army of crypto traders started to mistake it for the digital currency Ethereum, which is shortened to the same three letters.
  • Now you can find it as “ETD.” The company hopes that change “will better differentiate Ethan Allen news from Ethereum news in search results,” a spokesperson tells Axios.

The backstory: Companies can generally reserve ticker symbols through exchanges for up to 24 months before that pick is released. Exchanges can reject picks, for instance, if they’re obscene.

  • Acquired companies’ tickers are up for grabs immediately. Businesses delisted because they no longer meet requirements can keep their tickers reserved for as long as two years.

What to watch: For some companies considering a public listing, it may be too late to lock down the perfect symbol.

Go deeper: Wall Street prepares for an IPO flood

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 2, 2021 - Economy & Business

A new case against payment for order flow

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

SEC chair Gary Gensler is looking at the controversial practice of payment for order flow, or PFOF, to determine whether it should be banned. Fresh data from retail brokerage Public, shared first with Axios, adds weight to the case that it should be stopped.

Why it matters: PFOF, a formerly obscure market-structure backwater, got a bad reputation during the meme-stock craziness earlier this year, causing a lot of pointed questions to be asked of the SEC by members of Congress. Now the regulator is considering whether it makes sense, or should be outlawed on the grounds that it represents a conflict of interest for brokers.

Updated 33 mins ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
46 mins ago - Health

Study finds bias against Black patients written into medical charts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Black patients were more than two-and-a-half times as likely as white patients to have negative descriptors about them in their electronic health record, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: The study is further evidence of bias in the U.S. health care system, which can ultimately result in worse care and disparately poor outcomes.