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BY THE NUMBERS

IN THE NEWS TODAY

WeWork, which pulled its IPO in 2019 after a dwindling valuation and resignation of co-founder Adam Neumann, has reached a new deal to go public. The office-sharing company agreed on Friday to merge with special purpose acquisition company BowX Acquisition Corp. (BowX). The transaction values WeWork at $9 billion, a fraction of its one-time valuation of around $47 billion. (Reuters)

Online finance start-up SoFi is offering average investors a way to buy shares of companies as they go public. IPO shares have historically been set aside for Wall Street’s institutional investors, or high-net worth individuals. “Main Street will have access to investing in a way they wouldn’t have before,” according to SoFi CEO Anthony Noto. (CNBC)

* Robinhood building platform to allow users to buy into IPOs, sources say (Reuters)

GameStop (GME) shares jumped roughly 10% in Friday’s premarket, the morning after snapping a five-session losing streak and closing 52% higher. GameStop, the most high-profile “meme stock,” lost about a third of its value Wednesday after the video game retailer delivered disappointing fourth-quarter results, failed to give in-depth detail about its digital turnaround plans, and said it’s considering selling more stock. (CNBC)

The National Labor Relations Board told Tesla (TSLA) to make Elon Musk delete a tweet that was seen as threatening to labor organizers within the company. The independent federal agency also ordered Tesla to reinstate a fired employee and compensate him for lost earnings, benefits and adverse tax consequences that resulted from his termination. (CNBC)

President Joe Biden on Thursday held his first official press conference since taking office in January. Biden faced tough questions on his administration’s response to a rise in unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as voting rights, the filibuster and Afghanistan. (CNBC)

* Biden says he expects to run for reelection in 2024 (CNBC)
* Vice President Harris’ message to women: ‘You are strong’ (USA Today)
* Pete Buttigieg pitches ‘once in a generation’ infrastructure fix (AP)

California will start vaccinating anyone 16 and over against the coronavirus, starting in three weeks, expanding eligibility to the shots along with a host of other states as a long-awaited boost in vaccine supplies is in sight. (AP)

* Michigan sees virus surge, but tighter restrictions unlikely (AP)
* Rutgers to require Covid vaccine for students returning to campus in the fall (CNBC)
* Amazon is launching on-site Covid-19 vaccinations at some warehouses (CNBC)

Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, arguing the cable news giant falsely claimed in an effort to boost faltering ratings that the voting company had rigged the 2020 election. (AP)

* Georgia Gov. Kemp signs GOP election bill that restricts voting by mail (AP)
* Trump defends Capitol rioters, says there was ‘zero threat’ (AP)

Blaring tornado sirens and howling winds roared across parts of western Georgia early Friday as severe storms pounded southern states, including in Alabama where at least five people died in twisters that wrecked homes, splintered trees and crumpled businesses. (AP)

The Ever Given, a stranded mega container ship in the Suez Canal, is holding up an estimated $400 million per hour in trade, based on the approximate value of goods that move through the key waterway every day. That’s according to shipping data and news company Lloyd’s List. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Ford (F) will idle production of its popular F-150 pickup truck through the weekend at a Michigan plant, due to the global semiconductor shortage.

MSG Entertainment (MSGE), owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers, as well as Madison Square Garden and other venues, is buying MSG Networks (MSGN) in a stock-swap deal. The transaction reunites the two entities after a split-up became official last year. MSG Networks fell 4.9% in premarket action.

A Massachusetts judge has ruled that a challenge to the classification of drivers as independent contractors by Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT) can proceed. The judge did not rule on whether drivers should be classified as independent contractors, or employees entitled to benefits. Uber rose 1.1% in premarket trading.

The Fed announced plans to lift restrictions on bank dividends and stock buybacks. That will occur after the June stress tests, if the banks show they can maintain sufficient capital. JPMorgan (JPM) gained 1.1% in premarket trading, with Bank of America (BAC) up 1.5%, Wells Fargo (WFC) up 1.3% and Citigroup (C) up 1.3%.

Microsoft (MSFT) is now in advanced talks to buy messaging platform Discord for $10 billion or more, according to The Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg had reported earlier this week that the two sides had spoken but that no deal was imminent and that Discord was leaning toward an initial public offering.

Annaly Capital Management (NLY) struck an agreement to sell its commercial real estate business to investment firm Slate Asset Management for $2.33 billion. The real estate financing company expects the deal to be completed by the end of the third quarter. Annaly gained 1% in the premarket.

Root Inc. (ROOT) rose 3.9% in premarket trading after a 4.9% increase on Thursday. The auto insurer is “misunderstood”, according to Citron Research founder Andrew Left, who calls it a “disruptive tech company.” Root has seen its stock price cut in half since its initial public offering in October.

Nio (NIO) will suspend electric vehicle production at its plant in Hefei, China, due to the worldwide shortage of semiconductors. The suspension will begin Monday and last for five days, prompting Nio to cut its first-quarter delivery forecast to 19,500 vehicles from the prior 20,000 to 20,500. Nio tumbled 5% in premarket action.

Progress Software (PRGS) reported quarterly earnings of 91 cents per share, 13 cents a share above estimates. Revenue beat forecasts as well. The enterprise application software company also raised its full-year outlook. Progress Software gained 2.6% in premarket trading.