Trump Media Stock Spikes After CEO Pens "Naked" Short Letter

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 19, 2024 - 01:46 PM

Shares of Trump Media spiked on Friday after the company alerted the Nasdaq to 'potential market manipulation' from 'naked' short selling of its stock.

The warning came as the company, which trades under the symbol $DJT, offered shareholders detailed instructions on how to prevent someone from loaning out their shares to short sellers.

In a Friday morning letter to Nasdaq CEO Adrena Friedman, CEO Devin Nunes noted that as of Wednesday, "DJT appears on Nasdaq’s ‘Reg SHO threshold list,’ which is indicative of unlawful trading activity."

"his is particularly troubling given that ‘naked’ short selling often entails sophisticated market participants profiting at the expense of retail investors," Nunes continued.

In his letter, Nunes pointed to circumstantial evidence - including DJT being the most expensive stock to short in the US, which he said would give brokers "significant financial incentive to lend non-existent shares," CNBC reports. The letter also links to a CNBC article which delves into the high premiums brokers were charging short sellers for loans of DJT to sell.

"I write to bring your attention to potential market manipulation of the stock of Trump Media & Technology Group Corp," wrote Nunes. "As you know, ‘naked’ short selling — selling shares of a stock without first borrowing the shares of stock deemed difficult to locate — is generally illegal pursuant to Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) Regulation SHO," the letter continues.

"Data made available to us indicate that just four market participants have been responsible for over 60% of the extraordinary volume of DJT shares traded: Citadel Securities, VIRTU Americas, G1 Execution Services, and Jane Street Capital," Nunes said, adding: "In light of the foregoing, and Nasdaq’s obligation and commitment to protect the interests of retail investors, please advise what steps you can take to foster transparency and compliance by ensuring market makers are adhering to Reg SHO, requiring brokers to disclose their ’Net Short” positions, and preventing the lending of shares that do not exist."

Shares of DJT began spiking premarket, and were up as much as 11%.