2021-03-04 —

It may turn out that five new special

purpose acquisition companies per day was too many. SPAC mania is showing signs of hitting a stock-market saturation point, with an index tracking blank-check flyers suddenly down about 20% from its peak. The craze is being clipped as quickly as it whipped up, with sentiment souring on growth stocks amid a runup in interest rates and rotation into beaten-down names. Before the selloff, SPACs had almost doubled since October.


The IPOX SPAC Index, which tracks the performance of a broad group of special purpose acquisition companies, has fallen toward a bear market, down about 20% since a mid-February peak. It's on track for its second-worst week ever relative to the S&P 500. Meanwhile, the Defiance Next Gen SPAC Derived ETF (ticker SPAK), is also down about 20% from its February top, with the fund on pace for its worst week of outflows on record. While it isn't crazy that SPACs became popular given their structure and relatively loose listing requirements, according to Marketfield Asset Management's Michael Shaoul and Timothy Brackett, any frenzy of this magnitude tends to result in "a long and expensive period of regret."

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