In Ironic Twist, Robinhood Halted for Volatility This Morning

Robinhood IPO, New York, United States - 29 Jul 2021
Mark Lennihan / AP / Shutterstock.com

Robinhood, which started its NASDAQ listing last week under the ticker HOOD in one of the most anticipated and unusual IPOs of the year, saw its stock halted twice this morning due to volatility.

See: Despite Robinhood’s Efforts to Attract Retail Crowd, Redditors Warn Against its IPO
Find: Robinhood, Dole and Four Other Companies With Summer IPOs

The stock was up 65% this morning, at $77. HOOD, which had a dismal beginning last week, had quite the turnaround: the stock is up 120% for the week, according to CNBC.

The company, whose mission is to “democratize finance for all,” said in a statement on the eve of the IPO that it had priced its share at $38, the lowest point of the $38 to $42 target price it was targeting earlier in the week, and raised $1.89 billion, according to the statement.

“You can’t help but love the irony of Robinhood’s stock being halted by the stock exchange due to volatility,” Blockworks co-founder Jason Yanowitz tells GOBankingRates. “The meme stock phenomenon has come full circle,” he added.

Related: Why Is Crypto So Volatile?

Earlier this year, Robinhood halted trading of some stocks popular on the Reddit subthread r/WallStreetBets. Retail traders, who were intent on taking down hedge-fund short sellers by buying shares of stocks that didn’t seem to have much of a chance of success, were unable to trade stocks including GameStop, AMC Entertainment and Bed Bath & Beyond. Robinhood said last week that it continuously monitors the markets and makes changes where necessary. “In light of recent volatility, we restricted transactions for certain securities to position closing only,” according to a statement on its website at the time. The company also raised margin requirements for certain securities.

Building Wealth

What might have pushed the stock up this week is Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest buying about 1.3 million Robinhood shares last Thursday for the $23 billion ARK Innovation ETF — worth roughly $45 million based on the stock’s Thursday close, according to Barron’s. And last Friday, ARK Invest bought additional shares.

Read: Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest Files To Create Bitcoin ETF
Discover: The Best Trading Apps for New Investors: Robinhood and Beyond

This IPO is unusual in that Robinhood set aside 20% to 35% of its shares to retail investors via the platform it had introduced in May, IPO Access. The new platform will enable retail investors the opportunity to buy shares of companies at their IPO price, before trading on public exchanges and participate in upcoming IPOs with no account minimums.

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Last updated: August 4, 2021

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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