by John Konrad (gCaptain) Yesterday we wrote that shares of the offshore drillship company Transocean ($RIG) were surging on retail investor interest in highly shorted companies like Gamestock. Later in the day Robinhood, the favorite brokerage firm of young retail investors, faced a liquidity problem and took the drastic action of delisting the most active stocks. While shares of RIG were not restricted by Robinhood, the company did restrict shares in the small Cyprus-based dry bulk shipping company Castor Maritime ($CTRM).
According to CNBC… Robinhood and Interactive Brokers said that in some cases, investors would be able to sell only their positions and not open new ones in shares of $AAL, $AMC, $BB, $BBBY, $CTRM, $EXPR, $GME, $KOSS, $NAKD, $NOK, $SNDL, $TR and $TRVG. All thirteen companies disappeared from search results on the Robinhood app and both brokerages raised margin requirements on other popular securities.
Robinhood told clients in a blog post that it would close out some positions in CTRM automatically if the client was at risk of not having the necessary collateral.
Prices in the delisted stocks dropped quickly after the announcement. CTRM opened sharply higher yesterday then dropped over 40% after the Robinhood announcement. Other delisted shares dropped even more with Gamestop, at one point, falling from a high of almost $500 to $113.
These major falls in stock created sweeping anger around the world with such polarizing figures as AOC and Ted Cruz agreeing that the investors in GME and CTRM got screwed, with Daily Show creator Jon Stewart coming out of retirement to tweet for the first time, and Elon Musk calling on followers to “get shorty“.
Anger was most visceral in the small reddit wallstreet bets community wallstreetbets – the first site to advocate for buying GameStop – and in the Barstool sports community where the highly popular daytrader Dave Portnoy did a media tour and called for the arrest of wall street insiders.
Last night Robinhood said it plans to allow limited buys of these securities on Friday. This morning gCaptain confirmed that CTRM is available for trading.
Shares of CTRM are up 15% in the premarket on the news and many of the other stocks mentioned are also surging.
Disclosure: John Konrad owns several of the stocks listed in this article including CTRM and GME.
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