CNBC.com's Pippa Stevens brings you the day's top business news headlines. On today's show, CNBC's Ylan Mui reports that several Democrats are pitching proposals for the next big stimulus bill, even as the current $1.9 trillion package moves through Congress. Plus, CNBC's Leslie Picker breaks down the rise of crypto hedge funds, and how they're playing bitcoin's big boom.
Shares of Rocket Companies rallied more than 70% on Tuesday in a surprising move on no apparent new news. The online mortgage provider currently has large short bets placed against it by hedge funds and appears to have garnered some bullish interest from day traders on Reddit's infamous WallStreetBets.
Nearly 40% of its available shares are sold short and it is near the top of the list of U.S. companies in terms of size of short bet by hedge funds, according to FactSet. That makes it a classic target by meme-obsessed investors, who have been storming together this year into shares and call options of heavily shorted companies in order to squeeze out short sellers. It was unclear of the size of the retail interest in Rocket at this time.
Eleven Senate Democrats are pushing President Joe Biden to put recurring direct payments and enhanced jobless benefits in the economic recovery and infrastructure plan he will try to pass this year.
In a letter to the president announced Tuesday, the lawmakers said Congress should not cut off additional support to workers while the economy recovers from Covid. Though the senators did not say how large they want the payments to be or how often they want them to come, they said they hope the aid will phase out only as the job market improves.
"This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads," the senators wrote. "Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions."
Microsoft on Tuesday announced Mesh, a service to build apps for people to collaborate in augmented reality.
Augmented reality (AR) shows computer-generated images superimposed over the real world, and nearly all the major tech players are working on the technology as they strive to create the next computing platform that will replace the smartphone. However, AR headsets today are often clunky and expensive -- Microsoft's HoloLens starts at $3,500 -- and so far they've mainly been used in industrial applications. Apple and Facebook are reportedly building their own AR headsets or glasses for release over the next couple of years, which could help validate the market for consumers and create a sort of AR gold rush.