Five things to watch in retail stocks’ trading frenzy
Silver has become the latest focus of a frenzied online movement by retail traders to push up values of assets that big fund managers had bet against.
The populist trading rally, organised on social media forums such as Reddit’s “wallstreetbets”, has helped attract a flood of retail cash into stocks such as GameStop Corp, burnt hedge funds that had bet against the company and roiled broader markets.
Silver prices are at near six-month highs, silver-mining stocks have surged and coin-selling websites are inundated with orders. Australia’s ETF Securities’ Physical Silver fund witnessed record daily inflows by the afternoon. The iShares’ U.S.-listed $16.5 billion Silver Trust ETF, which rose 5.6% last week, could see further inflows.
** STOCKS – GameStop marked a near 400% gain last week, alongside Koss Corp., AMC Entertainment and Express. Still, the heavy short positions, available float and the determination of Reddit investors to not sell could mean further gains for these stocks.
** TRADING VENUES – Online broker Robinhood, one of the hottest venues in the retail-trading frenzy, still has what it says are temporary buying restrictions on some securities, as it tries to raise funding for clearing house-mandated deposit requirements. Interactive Brokers Group Inc said late on Saturday it has lifted all trading restrictions on options in GameStop, AMC and others hit by recent market volatility.
U.S. regulators are looking into both Robinhood and the Reddit forums for evidence of market manipulation and the validity of trading bans, although it appears both parties are protected by laws and user agreements.
** BROADER MARKETS – U.S. stocks had their biggest weekly fall last week, while the dollar and Treasury yields rose, although it is difficult to say whether that was just the Gamestop effect or driven by concerns over a loss of economic momentum in the United States, China and Europe as coronavirus lockdowns bite.