Robinhood gets Cathie Wood’s backing despite miserable first day

Robinhood gets Cathie Wood’s backing despite miserable first day
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(July 30): Robinhood Markets Inc. may have performed poorly after its initial public offering, but it got some high-profile support from Cathie Wood.

Wood’s flagship ARK Innovation exchange-traded fund (ticker ARKK) purchased almost 1.3 million shares of the company on Thursday, according to Ark Investment Management’s daily trading report. At Robinhood’s closing price of $34.82, that gives the ETF a more than $45 million stake.

Even after pricing the IPO at the low end of its range, Robinhood ended its first day down 8.4% from the offering price, the worst-ever performance for a U.S. debut of its size, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Wood has become a superstar in the investing landscape after ARKK gained 149% in 2020. She has lured billions this year, riding the demand for thematic investing that retail trading apps like Robinhood have helped fuel.

Her process is to sell winners and buy losers in small daily doses, Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, recently explained. She was touting Roku Inc. as one of her top picks just two weeks ago, but her firm has been trimming its holdings in the video-streaming company all month. The latest update showed they sold more of the company on Thursday.

Ark’s daily trading statement reflects the management team’s active decisions, and does not include any create-redeem activity within its ETFs. For that reason, the firm’s overall purchases or sales on any day may vary from the statement.