What Did the Stock Market Do Today, Aug. 20? 3 Big Stories to Catch Up On.

Good afternoon and welcome to the weekend! Today, investors watched altcoins reach new heights. Meanwhile, Bill Ackman’s SPAC fallout continues, but it could find a saving grace in a new type of shell company model. What else did the stock market do today?

Street sign for Wall Street pictured in front of several American flags representing american stocks

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  • The S&P 500 closed up 0.81%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.64%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed up 1.19%

So what else did the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.

What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Cardano Beefed Up.

Cardano (CCC:ADA-USD) is one of the more lowkey altcoins to investors. The network’s ADA coin has maintained a relatively steady price over the last couple of years, barring a big upward climb at the beginning of 2021. Through steady transaction volume, the network has netted one of the highest market caps across all cryptos.

Today, though, it’s truly exploding. The coin’s price jumped up significantly, surging to a new all-time high and bulking up its market capitalization enough to make it the third-largest crypto, behind Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD). At its highest point this morning, ADA reached a value of $2.58; it has since settled to $2.44, which is still much higher than its previous all-time high.

This didn’t happen out of nowhere. The price momentum is from the excitement surrounding the release of the network’s huge incoming upgrade. The Alonzo Purple upgrade, expected to land at the network in early September, will outfit the Cardano network with smart contract support.

Smart contracts, which allow transactions to automatically process when the terms of a transaction are met, will streamline transactions on Cardano significantly. No longer will transactions need validation by a third-party private key. Thus, there is a ton of hype surrounding their implementation on the network.

The network, and the massive gains, mirror those seen in other networks who took on major updates recently. Most notably, Ethereum completed a major upgrade, the London hard fork, resulting in a similar bullish run to what ADA is seeing now. Since the upgrade, ETH prices have grown over $600, or about 24%. Popular meme coin Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD) is preparing for an upgrade of its own, although it has been rescheduled.

Bill Ackman’s SPAC Company Retreats Further, Plans For New Investment Arm

Bill Ackman’s company, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (NYSE:PSTH), continues to draw controversy from shareholders. It appears the company, one of the largest special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) shells ever, plans to return billions in revenue to shareholders in the midst of a lawsuit.

Through PSTH, Ackman long-teased a huge unicorn SPAC merger. In recent months though, the play has drawn more controversy than praise. That’s because Ackman’s big reveal was that PSTH would be acquiring a 10% stake in Universal Music Group. Because it was not exactly what investors had in mind, the unveiling was met with a bearish run for the stock. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also questioned whether or not the purchase met the rules for a SPAC merger.

Ackman remains firm in his defense of the acquisition, although the company has since backed away amid backlash. A lawsuit is also now shaking things up slightly. The suit, filed earlier in the week, says PSTH is operating as an illegal investment firm, rather than a SPAC vehicle, with the purchase of this minority stake.

Of course, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings is opposing these claims through a letter to shareholders. It says the company still has plenty of time to make a full SPAC-merger deal. Interestingly, it also reveals details around the creation of Pershing Square SPARC Holdings, a special purpose acquisition rights company. The new structure Ackman is unveiling will allow shareholders to buy into an acquisition after the deal is announced.

Upon approval by the SEC, Ackman says he will return $4 billion in PSTH proceeds to shareholders, through cash and transferable warrants in SPARC. SPARC will help the company avoid litigation and should instill faith in shareholders once again. Says Ackman, “if you find yourself in a leaky boat, often times you are better off switching boats than patching leaks to complete the mission.”

What Else We’re Watching

On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick 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.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2021/08/what-did-the-stock-market-do-today-3-big-stories-to-catch-up-on-13-2-2/.

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