CALIFORNIA (January 27, 2021)---today the moves by Robinhood and Interactive Brokers follow days of frenzied trading that led to massive gains for some stocks.
Shares in GameStop dived by as much as 55% after the restrictions.
It is the latest twist in a battle that has pitted amateur investors against Wall Street giants.
Major hedge funds had bet billions of dollars that GameStop's shares would fall.
But they have faced major losses after amateurs, swapping tips on social media sites such as Reddit, drove up the share price by more than 700% in a week.
Other firms, such as AMC Entertainment, Koss Corp and BlackBerry, also saw sharp gains. They were embraced by day traders after hedge funds bet against them.Amateur investors are responding with outrage after trading platforms curbed buying of shares in the US games firm GameStop and other companies. The activity has drawn questions from regulators, who are monitoring trading amid fears of illegal actions against them.
The activity has drawn questions from regulators, who are monitoring trading amid fears of illegal actions.
However, the amateur investors say they are just playing Wall Street at its own game.
In online forums they discussed legal action and accused Robinhood and other brokerages enacting their own form of market manipulation by restricting purchases of certain shares.
They support a capitalist free market only when it works for them. What we saw today was not a free market and it forced an awful lot of people to lose an awful lot of money," said 18-year-old Myron Sakkas of Coventry, a student at Warwick University.
The Investing Surge
The surge has produced ripples of worry on Wall Street, including concerns that inexperienced investors could cause bubbles in certain stocks or were dabbling in investments with risks they did not fully understand.
Robinhood - which has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new interest in investing - has faced particular scrutiny for the way its app has made investment seem like a game.
Last year, Massachusetts regulators filed a complaint accusing the company of marketing to inexperienced users and failing to protect them.
Officials said this week they were following the market battle.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday President Joe Biden’s economic team, including newly-appointed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, was “monitoring the situation”.
Massachusetts state regulator William Galvin called on the New York Stock Exchange to suspend GameStop for 30 days to allow a cooling-off period. "This isn't investing, this is gambling," he said in an interview. "This is obviously contrived."
The fracas follows a jump in casual investing during the pandemic, which saw people stuck at home with time on their hands and limited places to spend pour money into the market.
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