Robinhood boss defends GameStop trading restrictions
GameStop’s shares soared again in pre-market trading, jumping 100 per cent by the market’s open on Friday, as under-fire investment app Robinhood partially reversed its decision to restrict trading of its stocks and reportedly secured €1bn from its backers. Despite GameStop’s explosive open, the rest of the market lagged.
The ailing video game retailer found itself at the centre of a battle between small investors self-organised on Reddit, who launched a historic attempt to punish multibillion dollar Wall Street hedge funds looking to short-sell the stocks, igniting a trading frenzy.
Robinhood – which says its “mission is to democratise finance for all” – then decided to block users from buying GameStop shares, which it said was due to “significant market volatility”, prompting a fierce backlash, including from members of the US Congress as politically diverse as Ted Cruz and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who signalled their support for a congressional hearing.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tries to avoid GameStop questions during briefing
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki continued to deflect questions about the GameStop short squeeze event, urging reporters to refer to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s statements.
Ms Psaki eventually gave in to the numerous questions about the market battle reporters were asking and gave a brief update.
“I love the effort. You guys are trying so hard,” she said. “The US government is starting to work how it should. The SEC is a regulatory agency that oversees and monitors developments along these lines. It is currently in their purview.”
Yesterday, Ms Psaki tried to sweep away a reporter’s question about Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s potential conflict of interest in the GameStop controversy. Ms Yellen previously accepted $810,000 in speaking fees from Citadel, the company that owns Robinhood and helped bail out Melvin Capital, which saw massive losses due to the GameStop short squeeze.
When asked if Ms Yellen would recuse herself from advising Joe Biden on the developments, Ms Psaki tried to undermine the credibility of the reporter’s question.
“No and she’s an expert and deserves that money,” Ms Psaki responded.
Ms Yellen’s credentials were not questioned, nor was the value of her expertise, but rather whether it would be appropriate for her to involve herself with a controversy involving a company that paid her more than half a million dollars.
Graig Graziosi29 January 2021 16:09
Robinhood restricts Bitcoin trading as crypto surges
Robinhood restricted traders on its platform, this time over major fluctuations in the cryptocurrency market.
The securities trading app announced Friday it had turned off its cryptocurrency “instant buy” feature, citing “extraordinary market conditions.”
Robinhood is likely referring to Bitcoin’s price surge early on Friday. By suspending the app’s instant buy feature, it prevents traders from using money that was recently deposited from their banks or from stock sales. Only traders whose money has been settled in their Robinhood accounts can still buy the stock on the platform.
While that does not halt trading on Bitcoin, it does slow the rush of potential new traders from dumping money into the cryptocurrency.
Graig Graziosi29 January 2021 15:50
Jon Stewart joins Twitter, immediately jumps into GameStop discourse
Comedian Jon Stewart, longtime host of The Daily Show, joined Twitter on Thursday, and his inaugural tweet was in support of the Reddit investors short squeezing hedge funds in the GameStop market war.
“The Redditors aren’t cheating, they’re joining a party Wall Street insiders have been enjoying for years.” Mr Stewart said.
Read more from The Independent’s Clémence Michallon…
Graig Graziosi29 January 2021 15:48
Leader of Reddit movement to short squeeze hedge funds speaks out
Keith Gill, one of the primary Reddit users driving the GameStop short squeeze, recently spoke with the Wall Street Journal.
The trader – who also hosts a YouTube channel under the name “Roaring Kitty” – told the publication he planned on buying a house with his earnings from the market movement he helped inspire.
Mr Gill said he supported the other retail investors who were still holding onto their shares of GameStop and other stocks targeted by short sellers.
“I support these retail investors, their ability to make a statement,” Mr Gill said.
Graig Graziosi29 January 2021 15:38
Investment firm says it will no longer publish short sell research in wake of GameStop market war
Citron Research announced it would stop publishing short selling research after offering the service for 20 years.
Citron – an investment firm – announced Friday it would no longer publish “short reports,” which short sellers used to target stocks that were likely to drop in price.
The firm is a major object of ire for Reddit’s WallStreetBets community, and the discontinuation of the report will almost certainly be viewed as a victory by the investors at the forum.
The firm’s founder, Andrew Left, posted a video explaining his position.
Mr Left said his investment firm was founded to be “against the establishment” but said he realized he had “become the establishment” instead.
Graig Graziosi29 January 2021 15:18
SEC warns Robinhood, other retail stock trading apps it will “closely review” their actions during the GameStop frenzy
The US Securities and Exchange Commission released a statement warning Robinhood and other securities trading services that it would “closely review” their actions in response to the GameStop short squeeze.
“The Commission will closely review actions taken by regulated entities that may disadvantage investors or otherwise unduly inhibit their ability to trade certain securities,” the statement said.
“In addition, we will act to protect retail investors when the facts demonstrate abusive or manipulative trading activity that is prohibited by the federal securities laws.”
The statement came in the wake of reports that Robinhood and other services similar to it had shut down trading on shares like GameStop and AMC, ostensibly due to “volatility.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for an investigation into the issue immediately after the services began halting trades.
Robinhood eventually re-opened trading after facing backlash from elected officials on both sides of the aisle and from users on social media and at real life protests outside its headquarters.
Graig Graziosi29 January 2021 15:02
GameStop shares jump 100 per cent while rest of market struggles
Share prices for GameStop, AMC and other heavily shorted “meme stocks” championed by the WallStreetBets Reddit investors spiked premarket on Friday.
The boost came after Robinhood, a retail securities trading app, announced it would allow traders to purchase GameStop stock after removing the option to do so for several hours on Thursday.
The share price for GameStop rose by 100 per cent, reaching $409 at its highest. By the opening bell on Friday, GameStop was trading at $376 but dipped early into the mid $200 range as those waiting to bail on the stock sold off their holdings.
While the Reddit-driven stock performed well, the rest of the market got off to a rocky start. The Dow opened at 0.6 per cent, about 200 points lower than the prior day, the S&P fell 0.6 per cent, and the Nasdaq traded 0.4 per cent lower.
Graig Graziosi29 January 2021 14:44
Elon Musk lashes out at short sellers
Elon Musk was among those voicing their disdain for short-selling yesterday.
Andy Gregory29 January 2021 14:25
GameStop boss worth nearly $900m
GameStop chief executive George Sherman’s shares in the loss-running retail firm is currently worth some $894m.
While his 2.3 million shares were reportedly worth $7m a year ago, their value sat at some 127 times that value on Friday morning as the stocks hit $379 in pre-market trading.
Andy Gregory29 January 2021 14:09
Robinhood ‘receives $1bn from backers’
Robinhood has secured an emergency injection of $1bn from its investors, according to The New York Times.
It came after the investment app partially reversed its restriction on the trading of GameStop and others’ stocks, announcing it would resume “limited buys” of certain stocks.
Andy Gregory29 January 2021 13:57