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Portfolio > Economy & Markets

Robinhood Surges as Retail Traders Join Wood to Power Rally

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What You Need to Know

  • The trading frenzy on Wednesday follows Cathie Wood-led Ark's purchase of nearly 90,000 shares on Tuesday.

Robinhood Markets Inc. jumped a whopping 82% on Wednesday after a wave of individual investors joined the likes of Cathie Wood to pile on the zero-fee trading platform.

The stock traded as high as $85 earlier in New York before cutting gains roughly in half as the volatility triggered at least three trading halts.

The frenzied share buying pushed the company’s market value to a peak of $65 billion from $29.1 billion after its debut on Nasdaq last week.

‘We’ve seen this movie before and this pump and dump of Robinhood will not end well for many traders,” said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. “Robinhood’s revenue streams will come into question once the government applies rules to payment of order flow.”

Retail investors’ participation took off in the past couple of sessions after a lukewarm reception. They bought a net $19.4 million worth of Robinhood shares on Tuesday to make it the sixth-most-purchased stock and 11th-most-traded security on retail platforms, according to data compiled by Vanda Securities Pte.

Total retail volume on Tuesday surged about 10-fold from the previous day, the data show. In the first three hours of Wednesday’s session more than 100 million shares changed hands, more than five-times what was seen in recent days.

Trader chatrooms, such as those on StockTwits, and Twitter feeds were aflame with mentions of Robinhood’s surge. Users compared the surge to the massive rallies staged by so-called meme stocks like GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. earlier this year.

The stock was the most traded company on Fidelity’s platform with more than 20,000 buy orders coming from customers. That’s more than double the number of buy orders seen for AMC Entertainment which saw the second largest number of buys.

The retail investors trading boost came alongside Ark Investment Management’s move to increase stake in the company.

Ark Fintech Innovation ETF bought 89,622 Robinhood shares in the previous session as they surged 24% to close at $46.80 apiece.

What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:

“This spike in the share price doesn’t change our view of shaky fundamentals and compounds the concern about order-flow payment revenue through 2022, after a 34% drop in 2Q and a crypto-trading bump that’s unlikely to repeat in 3Q. Our analysis still points to a mid-$30 baseline share price.”

– Julie Chariell, BI senior fintech industry analyst

Some traders pointed out that partial options trading data for the company were coming through for the first time. The most actively traded options on Robinhood in Wednesday’s session was $70 calls that expire on August 20.

A company can not have options traded on its stock until at least three days after its IPO, and options activity may increase share price volatility.

Individual investors “love using options” which has likely gotten them more involved in Robinhood today, Matt Maley, Chief Market Strategist at Miller Tabak & Co., said. “When they buy these options, the dealer has to hedge themselves by buying the stock. When they buy a lot of call options, the whole thing feeds on itself for a while.”

The jump in activity for currently out of the money options may remind investors of AMC Entertainment’s surge in June when a phenomenon known as a “gamma squeeze” was likely in play for the quick surge.

Gamma Squeezes happen when an options dealer buys a rising stock to balance their exposure to contracts they have sold which can further fuel gains.

See: Robinhood Falls in Debut 

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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