GameStop Corp. (GME) - Get Report shares extended their extraordinary ride Thursday, touching an all-time high of $483.00 each, as the retail-driven frenzy for selected stocks continues to grip Wall Street even as two popular online brokerage firms restricted trading on some of the market's more active stocks.
Multiple users of the online retail trading platform Robinhood, meanwhile, have reported restricted access to certain stocks, including GameStop, AMC Entertainment AMC and others, which immediately triggered sharp pre-market pullbacks. Interactive Brokers is also reportedly restricting trading access to certain stocks.
Robinhood's published terms of service state that the company can "in its discretion, prohibit or restrict the trading of securities, or the substitution of securities, in any of My Accounts."
GameStop's early Thursday surge also followed a brief outage for the Reddit-based chatroom, Wallstreetbets, that has been identified as the source for much of the stock's popularity since it began its ascent on January 12. The so-called subreddit was taken offline by group moderators last night, but returned to service shortly after amid a debate over the impact of retail investors on the broader market and the ethics of hedge funds betting against the stock of struggling companies.
AMC shares slumped 55% to $8.84 each after the reported restrictions on Robinhood, while GameStop shares were last marked 26% lower in mid-day trading to change hands at $255, after briefly hitting $112.50 per share in early dealing.
The stock has gained more than 1640% over the last 10 trading days, adding $23 billion in value to a struggling video-game retail that has cautioned investors it won't turn a profit for at least the next two years.
GameStop remains, however, one of the most bet-against stocks on Wall Street, according to data from S3 Partners, which tracks details on short positions, said there was more than $5.5 billion in bets against the stock at the close of trading Tuesday, representing 71.8 million shares, but also noted that short-sellers are nursing losses of more than $5 billion since the start of the year.
Citron Research, a high-profit short-seller that published a report highlighting GameStop's weaknesses last week, has claimed to be the victim of harassment and threats from Reddit users before pulling its position against the stock.
CNBC has also reported that Melvin Capital, a hedge fund run by Gabriel Plotkin, exited its GameStop short late Tuesday, while several questions over the strength of its liquidity and capital remain.
The spillover impactions for the broader market were clear on Wednesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 600 points and benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields fall below 1% for the first time in three weeks.
The CBOE's key volatility index, the VIX, rose the most since March of last year and is now trading 46.5% higher in extended hours dealing at 33.72 points, the highest since November 3.