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Stock Market News: Cboe Pulls Back on Bitcoin; Lyft Hits the Gas

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Monday morning brought a quiet start to the new week for the stock market, building on upward movement from last week. As of just after 11:30 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was down 55 points to 25,794. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) was up 1 point to 2,823, while the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) fell 3 points to 7,685.

Investors are always looking for the next big thing, but they're also merciless when promising investments don't work out the way they'd hoped. The long slump for cryptocurrencies led Cboe Global Markets (NYSEMKT: CBOE) late last week to make changes to what many had initially hoped would become a huge market for the exchange operator. Meanwhile, ridesharing service provider Lyft is getting ready to make its debut on the public stock market as its IPO plans move forward.

Bitcoin symbol in 3D gold mosaic, with grey mosaic surrounding it.

Image source: Getty Images.

The beginning of the end for bitcoin investing?

Shares of Cboe Global Markets traded flat on Monday morning as investors had little response to news late last week that the exchange provider would not offer a bitcoin futures contract for traders to use for the rest of the month of March. That leaves just three bitcoin futures offered on Cboe's futures exchange, with the last set to expire in June.

Cboe went further, saying that it is "assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading." During that process, Cboe said that it expects not to list new futures contracts, although it'll allow currently available futures to continue trading.

Some bitcoin skeptics said that the move reflects the lack of interest in cryptocurrencies following their massive price drop in 2018. Yet others point out that Cboe's offerings have badly lagged bitcoin futures offered by rival CME Group (NASDAQ: CME), which has stated no plan to make changes to its available contracts. As long as there's some futures market for bitcoin available, it's too early to call it the end for cryptocurrency investing more broadly.

Lyft lifts its IPO expectations

Meanwhile, the much-followed ridesharing industry got a big boost when Lyft gave more details about its impending initial public offering. The company said that it's hoping to raise more than $2 billion by selling stock to the investing public, putting an overall valuation on the company of as much as $23 billion.

Until now, much of the attention surrounding Lyft's IPO focused on whether it'd get to the finish line before industry rival Uber. Documents released earlier showed that Lyft has seen dramatic growth in both the number of rides offered by drivers and the number of active riders using the service over the past three years, and revenue per user has been on the rise as well. Yet even as bookings volume and revenue rise, Lyft hasn't come any closer to profitability, and losses have actually grown over the past three years.

Although the expected pricing seems rich compared to Lyft's current condition, many believe that the company has huge potential for future growth. In particular, as self-driving automobile technology advances, Lyft could eventually get to the point at which it's able to offer rides either through its own fleet of vehicles or by making partnerships directly with auto manufacturers. If that happens -- cutting drivers out of the loop -- Lyft could find itself benefiting enormously by removing the intermediary and keeping more of the profit for itself.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends CME. The Motley Fool recommends Cboe Global Markets Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.