Extreme volatility caused trading halts for several popular stocks on Thursday morning. Among them were video game retailer GameStop (NYSE: GME), movie theater company AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE: AMC), and fashion retailer Express (NYSE: EXPR). According to data from Nasdaq, all three stocks triggered code M, a volatility trading pause for an "exchange-listed issue." Trading resumed a few minutes later.
With short-squeeze mania running rampant on the stock market, these stocks are trading with extremely high volume. As of 10:40 a.m. EST, GameStop's trading volume was already over 20 million shares, according to Yahoo Finance. This volume has caused all three of these stocks to more than double during January alone, with GameStop stock surging over 1,500%.
The mayhem is concerning to many on Wall Street, and brokerages are starting to take action to turn down the temperature. According to a blog post today from the company, Robinhood is restricting actions for GameStop, AMC, Express, and more. Users will only be allowed to close their positions for now, and the popular brokerage is also raising its margin requirements. Robinhood isn't alone. Interactive Brokers made a similar move.
The retail investing crowd trading GameStop stock isn't taking this new development lying down. Robinhood users are inundating app stores with one-star reviews. On Alphabet's Google Play app store, Robinhood's previously stellar rating has dropped to a single star this morning. This likely wasn't the kind of press the company was looking for considering it's reportedly thinking about an initial public offering (IPO) later this year.
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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Jon Quast owns shares of Nasdaq. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares) and Alphabet (C shares). The Motley Fool recommends Interactive Brokers and Nasdaq and recommends the following options: short March 2021 $55 puts on Interactive Brokers. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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