Popular online brokerages restricted trading in highflying stocks including GameStop Corp. and AMC AMC -56.63% Entertainment Holdings Inc., sapping some of the euphoria around shares of companies that individual investors have sent skyrocketing in recent days.
The restrictions, from brokerages including Robinhood Markets Inc., Webull Financial LLC, E*Trade Financial Corp. and Interactive Brokers Group Inc., left traders hoping to capitalize on this week’s eye-popping gains with only two options: hold or sell. They also fueled a firestorm of criticism among users and even some members of Congress who have called for hearings on the matter.
The rally in the shares fizzled Thursday: GameStop dropped 44%, and AMC lost 57%. Other popular stocks among individual investors including BlackBerry Ltd., Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and headphone-maker Koss Corp. lost 28% or more. All five are still up 89% or more year-to-date. Thursday’s losses came amid an otherwise upbeat day for markets, with the S&P 500 rising 1%.
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