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Initial public offerings (IPOs)-the first sale of private firms' stock to the public-are a bellwether of investor sentiment. Investors must be bullish if they are putting their money into untested start-ups. IPOs are frequently cited in the business press as a key barometer of the health of financial markets. Politicians, too, see a steady flow of IPOs as an indicator that capital is fueling the entrepreneurial initiative that sustains the growth of new businesses. Growing businesses create jobs, so Republicans and Democrats can find common ground on the importance of promoting IPOs. That bipartisan consensus was on display this spring as Congress passed the JOBS Act (shorthand for "Jump-start Our Business Start-ups Act"). The JOBS Act relaxes a number of regulatory requirements viewed as stumbling blocks for private companies considering IPOs. President Obama, anxious in an election year to be seen as pro-growth, quickly signed the bill into law, notwithstanding the opposition of the Securities and Exchange Commission.