Wall Street’s Unexpectedly Hot First Half of 2019

Good Sunday morning, and welcome to a special edition of the DealBook Briefing where we’ll take a look at how Wall Street and the wider world of finance has performed during the first six months of 2019. (Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.)

Success in the face of threat

Reasons for worry are everywhere you look: Slowing economic growth, geopolitical tensions, an escalating trade war and Britain’s effort to exit the European Union.

But business appeared to be booming on Wall Street: Stock markets were back near record highs; big deals were being announced at a near record pace; and Silicon Valley’s most valuable start-ups were marching to the public markets.

Scratch deeper, though, and in some cases you can see signs of concern lurking beneath all that success. Let’s take a look.

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Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Stephen Grocer in New York and edited by Jamie Condliffe in London.

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A hot half-year for I.P.O.s

After years of waiting, investors have finally gotten an opportunity to own shares in some of Silicon Valley’s most valuable companies.

This year could be among the strongest for tech I.P.O.s. So far, tech companies have raised about $19 billion through initial public offerings on U.S. exchanges, according to the data provider Dealogic. On average, their stocks have gained 34 percent on their first day of trading, the best performance since 2013.

• The two most-hyped offerings, Uber and Lyft, have also turned out to be the biggest duds. Shares of both companies have spent much of their time trading below their I.P.O. price. At their lows, the two firms had shed about $25 billion in combined market value.

• But some have delivered big returns. The best performer? Beyond Meat, the maker of plant-based meat alternatives, whose shares are up more than 500 percent. And the stocks of PagerDuty,

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