Pandemic-Era Darlings Morph Into Symbols of New Market Wreckage

Stock markets continued to sink following last week’s recession worries, fueled by the Federal Reserve’s rate decision and the threat to global growth from China’s continued Covid lockdowns. The fear could be seen across asset classes, as traders offloaded equities and other risk assets in favor of cash.

Within the sea of red, some of the days’ biggest losers were investments that once surfed on waves of optimism: newly public companies would outperform; Cathie Wood’s flagship fund would regain its previous highs; cryptocurrency would shine as an alternate investment class. On Monday, markets appeared to give up on all these dreams.

“One of the things that we’ve learned, at least in this cycle, is that these speculative growthy disruptive alternate high-risk high-reward asset classes were far more rate sensitive than maybe folks thought they were,” said Steve Chiavarone, senior portfolio manager at Federated Hermes.

IPOs Deflated

Newly public companies, many of which are projected to post profits years down the line still, have been particularly hard hit. The Renaissance IPO ETF (ticker IPO) lost as much as 8.7% on Monday, the most since March 2020. The fund has dropped roughly 50% since the start of the year.

For Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at Jonestrading, many of these names are “concept stocks” that lack profitability and require access to capital markets to survive. “As investors retrench and liquidity dries up, such companies are at an even greater risk,” he said.

Tech Hit

A Goldman Sachs basket of non-profitable tech companies dropped more than 9% at one point Monday. It’s lost roughly 25% over the past two weeks alone and is trading at its lowest levels since May of 2020.

“Valuations now matter. Investors are demanding profits,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.