• Market Crumbs

RIP Robintrack

Image via Austin Distel on Unsplash

Robinhood's meteoric rise over the last few years has undoubtedly caused an influx of new retail traders into the stock market.

Robintrack, which is a website that tracks the top holdings on Robinhood, has also gained popularity as it provided hourly updates on the most popular stocks. Unfortunately, Robintrack will be closing down after Robinhood said it will stop providing the feed that Robintrack uses to update its site.

"They said the reason they're doing this is because 'other people' are using it in ways they can't monitor/control and potentially at the expense of their users," Robintrack creator Casey Primozic said. "They feel it paints Robinhood as being full of day traders when they say most of their users are 'buy and hold.'"

"The trend data that is available on our web platform can be reported by third parties in a way that could be misconstrued or misunderstood," Robinhood said. "Importantly it is not representative of how our customer base uses Robinhood."

Primozic said Robintrack saw its site traffic jump to the tens of thousands per day as hedge funds and other financial firms contacted him about using the site's data and creating algorithms using it.

"They said it’s OK that I keep Robintrack up containing all data I’ve collected thus far, but no new data will be available once they shut down the API," Primozic said. He also said Robinhood is "interested in keeping the conversation open" about how to provide the data.

Since Robinhood users have certainly not been given the best reputation at times using the data, the move to cut off the data isn't surprising. The site did provide plenty of publicity for Robinhood, whether good or bad, that could've helped fuel its second quarter growth. Robinhood saw "payment for order flow" revenue nearly double to $180 million from the first quarter's $91 million. Robinhood also raised another $320 million last month at a $8.6 billion valuation.

Robinhood's popularity also appears to be benefiting other trading firms who purchase their order flow. Virtu Financial, which is the second-largest purchaser of Robinhood's order flow, saw trading income jump 180% in the second quarter compared to last year's second quarter.

"Having access to Robinhood flows in May and June was a great business," an equities trader told the New York Post. "You can almost see exactly how good it was in Virtu's numbers. And you can also see who really made the money, and it wasn't people buying Hertz at 60 cents."

Hopefully Robintrack will be able to come back as it has become one of the most fascinating ways to gauge the sentiment of an increasingly large number of retail traders.

Leftover Crumbs

  • Job growth slows in July. Friday's nonfarm payrolls report showed an increase of 1.763 million in July as the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%. July's numbers came in ahead of estimates but slowed from May and June when a total of 7.5 million jobs were added. The total employment level in the U.S. now remains 12.9 million below the level from February. The total unemployment level is now more than 16 million Americans, down from a peak of more than 23 million in April.

  • Kodak deal on hold. Following an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into Kodak’s disclosures about a recent government deal to produce drug ingredients, the U.S International Development Finance Corporation has put the deal on hold. "On July 28, we signed a Letter of Interest with Eastman Kodak. Recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns. We will not proceed any further unless these allegations are cleared," the DFC said.

  • Pfizer will manufacture remdesivir. Pfizer has agreed to a deal with Gilead Sciences to manufacture and supply its COVID-19 drug remdesivir. Remdesivir, which received an emergency use authorization, is increasingly being used by doctors to treat patients. "From the beginning it was clear that no one company or innovation would be able to bring an end to the COVID-19 crisis. Pfizer's agreement with Gilead is an excellent example of members of the innovation ecosystem working together to deliver medical solutions," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said.

  • Buffett turns to buybacks. While Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett has largely sat on the company's cash pile with the exception of one deal, Berkshire Hathaway announced it repurchased $5.1 billion in stock during May and June. Berkshire Hathaway, which still has more than $140 billion in cash, repurchased $4.6 billion of its Class B shares with the remainder used to repurchase Class A shares. The total marks the largest repurchasing spree in Berkshire Hathaway's history, eclipsing the $2.2 billion it spent buying back its own stock in the fourth quarter of 2019.

  • Trump advisers push for delistings. Advisers in the Trump administration are reportedly pushing for Chinese companies that are listed in the U.S. to be delisted by January 2022 unless they meet auditing requirements. "We are simply leveling the playing field, holding Chinese firms listed in the U.S. to the same standards as everyone else," a U.S. Treasury official said. The China Securities Regulatory Commission asked to discuss the proposed requirement with U.S. officials, saying "We think that solving problems of mutual concern through dialogue is the only way toward win-win situation."