Stock trading at Digital World Acquisition Corp, a company planning to merge with Trump Media and Technology Group, was so fast Friday morning that it was halted at least 12 times.
When the company announced its plans with President Donald Trump’s new media venture on Thursday, the stock more than quadrupled.
The stock nearly tripled during the first minute of trading on Friday but was temporarily halted. It climbed to $175 in the morning, and ended the day with a gain of 107% at $94.20.
High-speed stock market dives are taking place before investors see a proxy statement that will include more details on the merger and how the new venture will operate. Few details have been released, but the jump in prices shows confidence in the new merger.
Trump Media & Technology aims to challenge Facebook, Twitter and Disney video streaming services.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Some investors appear to be believers in Trump’s ideology, while others see the opportunity for the company to quickly garner a larger audience. However, a vast majority of investors just grabbed it for a quick profit opportunity.
Several threads on Reddit’s Wallstreetbets forum, where millions of traders share their successes and failures, had users bragging about how much money they made by jumping in and out of Digital World Acquisition Corp. Others were asking if they should listen to the fear they were feeling. of missing WallStreetBets rose to prominence earlier this year, when its members helped propel GameStop and other formerly underdog stocks to extreme heights, levels that professional investors saw as dangerously unethical for reality.
Digital World Acquisitions is a special-purpose acquisition company, commonly referred to as a SPAC or “blank-check” company. It’s sitting on a little less than the $300 million in cash it raised in its initial public offering before it went looking for a company to acquire.
SPACs can provide a faster and easier way for privately held companies to get their stock on the exchange by merging with them. They were wildly popular earlier this year, but activity was waning on them as regulatory scrutiny and interest in them waned, at least until Wednesday’s Trump-related announcement.
It can be difficult for skeptical investors to bet that the price of the SPAC will fall, a process called “shorting,” said Michael Ohlog, an assistant professor of law at New York University who has researched SPAC. With a few short sellers, that can remove the force pushing the stock’s price down, causing it to jump even higher.
“Overall, I think this is a big difficulty because it drives up their prices,” Ohlog said.
The last time Trump ran a publicly traded company, it didn’t bode well for investors. His casino company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, lost hundreds of millions of dollars over a dozen years and filed for bankruptcy several times, causing huge losses to shareholders. Trump did better. According to Fortune magazine, he took in $82 million in fees, salaries and bonuses over the same period.