Phew, what a busy day in the stock market! Investors wrapped up the first half of the trading year — two quarters that saw the S&P 500 gain 14%. As everyone gears up for the next half and a post-pandemic reality, what did the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 gained 0.13%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.61%
- The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.17%
So what did the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
So What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Fine Robinhood.
One of the largest stories in the stock market today revolves around Robinhood… and its infamous trading outages. In huge news, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined Robinhood a total of $70 million. That is more than the e-trading platform was preparing for, and it is the largest such fine FINRA has levied.
So what is this all about? And where does the money go?
To start, these fines all date back to March 2020, when a series of trading outages on Robinhood lasted for several hours and impacted customers. Importantly, as the platform experienced heaving trading volume, customers were not able to make trades. This came at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic as the stock market was experiencing volatility in general.
It is important to note this, as many investors may assume the fines have to do with the GameStop (NYSE:GME) saga of 2021. However, these outages happened in a series of weeks in 2020, and came before the meme stocks frenzy. Lawmakers and regulators are still investigating what happened in early 2021 as Robinhood halted trading in a variety of equities. We saw a repeat of these issues later this spring as Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD) rocketed to new all-time highs.
Now, with this in mind, FINRA fined Robinhood $57 million. It also ordered the trading platform to pay out $12.6 million to investors as restitution. Together, this comes in at about $70 million.
Granted, Robinhood says it has cleaned up a lot of the issues that resulted in these trading outages in 2020. Today, it also shared more information on its social media platforms about improved customer service and customer engagement solutions. But as the company preps to come public, regulatory headwinds will be a key factor to watch.
Coinbase Is Embracing Decentralization
Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) has certainly made a mark on Wall Street. It is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and the most popular exchange in the United States. Considering this, its direct listing was considered a major milestone for Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and its crypto peers.
Beyond that, Coinbase brings a sense of legitimacy to the coins and tokens on its platform. Currently, the team behind the exchange has a 70-question test it uses to evaluate potential new listings. That means cryptocurrency enthusiasts often wait months — or years — to see their favorite cryptos hit Coinbase. And when they do start trading, they often experience what is known as the Coinbase effect.
So, all things considered, Coinbase is a big deal in the cryptocurrency world, and investors watch the company closely.
That means the latest blog post from CEO Brian Armstrong is worth unpacking. The first big takeaway is that Coinbase wants to embrace the decentralized nature of digital currencies. Part of this new value will force the exchange to add more assets, more quickly. It will reduce its 70-question test to just 12, and create a special section for potentially risky assets.
The second big takeaway is that Coinbase recognizes the growing use cases for cryptocurrencies. With this in mind, the company is going to roll out its own app store to provide access to third-party software.
As CoinMarketCap demonstrated with its new token swapping feature, the crypto future is here. Companies that can leverage their digital prowess will succeed.
What Else We’re Watching
- Brazil suspended its $324 million contract to acquire COVAXIN, the Covid-19 vaccine made by Indian firm Bharat Biotech. As Niharika Sharma wrote for Quartz, this comes as health regulators in Brazil sort through what could be a corruption scandal. Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN), the U.S. partner of Bharat Biotech, closed in the red today.
- Mexico reaffirmed its bank ban on Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) after billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego pumped the coin on social media. Salinas Pliego has made clear his support for El Salvador and its decision to make BTC legal tender. However, despite his backing, Mexican banks are committed to blocking any cryptocurrency transactions.
- A new game aiming to mirror the augmented reality features of Pokémon Go will launch on July 3. Most importantly, users will be able to earn Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD) while playing.
- Nio (NYSE:NIO) saw its shares gain once again on Wednesday. This time, the move higher comes in anticipation of its June delivery update. Some analysts think the company is set to post impressive growth for the remaining months of 2021.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Sarah Smith is the Editor of Today’s Market with InvestorPlace.com.