Trading sites restrict stock trading in GameStop, other companies

GameStop stock has rocketed from below $20 earlier this month to more than $400 early Thursday as a volunteer army of investors on social media challenged big institutions who had placed market bets that the stock would fall. The stock fell, however, to around $240 after sliding more than 30% in midday trading.

Besides GameStop, Robinhood said trading in stocks such as AMC Entertainment, Bed Bath & Beyond, Blackberry, Nokia, Express Inc., Koss Corp., American Airlines, Tootsie Roll, Trivago and Naked Brand Group would be affected by the new restrictions.

Interactive Brokers also placed option trading of AMC, BlackBerry, Express, GameStop and Koss “into liquidation,” citing extraordinary volatility in the markets. It also tightened margin requirements indefinitely on “short stock positions.”

Some big institutions such as Citron Research and Melvin Capital had placed bets that GameStop shares would fall as the company tries to transform itself from a bricks and mortar retailer to a seller of online video games.

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