The second half of October has been one of the most active periods for the stock market in quite some time. Not only did the major indexes, including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) and SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (NYSE: DIA) hit fresh, all-time highs, retail traders, are finally getting their fill of volatile small-caps and short squeeze stocks.
There haven’t been any new instances where popularized brokers like Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ: HOOD) restricted trading in volatile stocks.
But now, former President Donald Trump may have become a conduit for breathing new life back into the stock market as far as retail traders are concerned.
This week, eyes were on the Special Purpose Acquisition Company niche of the market.
If you recall, these SPACs were some of the hottest companies to watch last year. Thanks to a more accessible highway to go public, many private companies chose this as their preferred method of IPO. But like most trends in the market, they lost their luster toward the beginning of 2021. This is where we saw stocks like AMC, GME, and countless others make “meme stocks” the new hot trend among retail traders. Many of these started as penny stocks. However, the overt bullishness from the Ape community has turned many of these sub-$5 stocks into formidable competition for some of the most popular stocks in the market.
Fast-forwarding ten months and a new SPAC linked to former President Donald Trump may have bridged the gap between the “SPAC-ers” and the “Apes” regarding retail trading trends. We have Digital World Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: DWAC) to thank for this. The proposed new home of Donald Trump’s Trump Media company has caused a trading frenzy to ensue in the stock market. What’s the basic idea for the media company? It’s taking direct aim at industry players like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), which banned Trump’s access during the tail end of his presidency.
In a statement, Donald Trump said, “I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech. We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced.”
With SPAC momentum back in play and the Ape community searching for the next round of meme stocks to buy, DWAC became the latest target. You also can’t ignore the likelihood that staunch supporters of either Trump’s campaign or “anti-mainstream social media” have come into the mix as well. This has all made for a perfect storm for retail trading pandemonium. Within just two days, DWAC stock has rallied from an open on October 21st of $12.73 to highs of $175 on the 22nd, which is roughly 1,274%. Yes, that means even $500 thrown into this Trump stock could’ve been worth over $6,000 in a matter of 24 hours’ time.
This is one of the popular topics of discussion in the stock market today. If DWAC hit it so big, are there other stocks with ties to the former US President with the same potential? The short answer to that is ‘Yes,’ and like many meme stocks, the latest round of popular Trump stocks have started as penny stocks to watch.
For instance, Phunware Inc (NASDAQ: PHUN) surged over 1,000% from Thursday’s close to Friday’s high, thanks to speculative trading. Specifically, PHUN stock jumped from a close of just $1.53 to highs of $24.04, a move of 1,471%. What’s more, the warrants for Phunware traded an even more significant percentage.
PHUNW closed the October 21st session at $0.52 and promptly reached highs of $19 during the fast and furious trading frenzy on Friday morning. For those doing the math, that’s a move of 3,553% or just over 35 times the value of Phunware warrants in less than 24 hours.
According to the 2020 USA Today article that traders had circulated since DWAC stock commanded headlines, Phunware announced a partnership with American Made Media Consultants for “the development, launch and ongoing management of the Trump-Pence 2020 Reelection Campaign’s mobile application portfolio for Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones.”
But it wasn’t just Phunware benefiting from Trump stock trading momentum. Other companies, including Salem Media Group Inc (NASDAQ: SALM) and Creatd Inc (NASDAQ: CRTD), caught tailwinds from the move that DWAC stock has made this week, albeit for different reasons. First, Salem is best-known for its conservative programming and is seen as one of the Trump stocks to watch during the 2020 election. This week, it also gained ground in sympathy with DWAC thanks to traders learning that one of Salem’s former network hosts, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, was previously appointed to President Trump’s National Security Education Board.
Creatd, however, may have been more of a knee-jerk reaction to some keyword placement, in my opinion. If you’re searching for Trump stocks or stocks related to DWAC, you may be looking for any kind of ties. In Creatd’s case, there was a period where the company and Mike Lindell – the MyPillow Guy – made joint headlines, but it wasn’t based on a working relationship. As the Daily Beast reported earlier this year, the staunch Trump ally planned to launch his own social media network, Vocl.
There was one problem with this. Lawyers for Vocal’s (with an ‘A’), whose parent company is Creatd, Inc., warned Lindell, in a letter reviewed by The Daily Beast, to change his social media network’s name and surrender ownership of the Vocl.com domain name. Creatd also owns the trademark for using “Vocal” in different ways related to social networking, according to Daily Beast’s report. Regardless, CRTD stock may have gained sympathy momentum simply for the two – Lindell and Creatd – being picked up on in the same discussion.
Other than Trump stocks with direct ties to the campaign, some alternative social media stocks have also been trending. One of the newest meme stocks, DatChat Inc (NASDAQ: DATS), heavily popularized by active Twitter accounts including @MrZackMorris and @RealWillMead, was also seen as a potential sympathy trade stemming from DWAC stock’s activity.
DatChat, in particular, is designed as a privacy-first social media and communications company. Its DatChat Messenger and Private Social Network “presents technology that allows users to change how long their messages can be viewed before or after users send them, prevents screenshots, and hides encrypted photos in plain sight on camera rolls,” according to the company.
IZEA Worldwide Inc (NASDAQ: IZEA) also gained similar momentum early in the morning session on October 22nd. This may have been more to do with sympathy stemming from DatChat than DWAC. Last month, the social media marketing agency and DatChat signed a deal whereby IZEA would execute a celebrity influencer dating campaign for DatChat Messenger. Similarly, other companies with exposure to DATS also followed suit. AIkido Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: AIKI) – yes, a pharma company – saw some bullish action. The connection between DatChat and AIkido is that the latter has a stake in the former following DatChat’s public debut earlier this year.
Something to keep in mind is that many of these stocks (some penny stocks) have exploded thousands of percentage points in less than a day. Volatility has played its part, and just as quickly as these bullish moves can happen, we’ve already seen some cracks bring in bearish selling pressure. When, or if sympathy sentiment has a hand with a stock’s direction, it can create a false sense of reality. Ask yourself what else would justify a stock remaining at these higher levels if not for speculative buying. This isn’t to say the underlying bullishness can’t continue. But it is prudent to have a complete understanding of what you’re getting into before you dive straight into a stock with such vigorous and unbridled trading momentum.
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