September 07, 2020

Did Softbank drive the market higher?

  • AnandMurthy
  • 160

It’s been a while since we’ve discussed Softbank but pre-Covid we loved looking at their huge investments into the tech space. A lot of times they were just dumping money on cash burning machines like WeWork however their home runs have changed the world and made them filthy rich.

softbank

Recently a report has come out speculating that the firm has been the driving force of the market rise over the past few weeks. They speculate that Softbank call options on tech stocks have been the catalyst that sent the sector higher. While the company has announced they were putting more effort into the public market, call options are a risky way to go. While they are no stranger to risk, it’s strange that such a large investment fund is acting like a TikTok Robinhood trader.

Which leads us to the detractors of this headline. Many financial analyst and commentators want to push this Whale Theory and say that “smart money” was the reason for the move. However two writers at Bloomberg dove into the analytics and it seems that not only is the Whale Theory hard to prove, but there’s overwhelming evidence the recent bull market was driven by retail investors. I’m not going to pretend I’m smart enough to explain all of this but you should check out their article:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-07/nasdaq-whale-theory-for-tech-stock-surge-is-stirring-doubts

The key takeaway is that institutions began took a page out of the Robinhood traded playbook and seriously increased technology stock call options.

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