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GameStop, AMC shares climb after Robinhood lifts trading restrictions

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Two of Reddit’s favorite “meme stocks” jumped early Friday after Robinhood lifted trading limits that it imposed amid last week’s market mayhem.

GameStop shares climbed 5 percent to $56.20 as of 7:08 a.m. while cinema chain AMC Entertainment rose 3.2 percent to $7.32 in premarket trading, clawing back some of the deep losses they’ve suffered this week.

Robinhood removed restrictions on those two stocks early Friday morning after a week of capping the number of shares that its users could buy. The investment app imposed the limits on GameStop, AMC and other stocks last Friday amid a backlash over its decision to block customers from buying any GameStop shares.

Robinhood’s move invigorated some amateur investors on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum, which pumped up GameStop’s share price last week in a campaign to squeeze hedge funds betting against the stock.

“Boys this is it,” Reddit user Anthony632 wrote on the message board overnight. “Now that we can trade we can buy and that’s how we win by buying. The more we buy the more we drive up the price and make money.”

Robinhood's move invigorated some amateur investors on Reddit's WallStreetBets forum.
Robinhood’s move invigorated some amateur investors on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum.
Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

But other WallStreetBets denizens noted that GameStop shares have previously risen in premarket trading only to crash after the opening bell. The video-game retailer’s stock has tumbled nearly 84 percent this week while AMC’s has dropped more than 46 percent.

“Brace yourselves. When market opens we are gonna get bombarded with negative bulls—,” user kylonnubbz wrote early Friday.

WallStreetBets members have lambasted Robinhood since the startup joined other brokerages in stopping clients from purchasing shares of GameStop and other stocks that exploded last week thanks to a retail investor revolution that’s drawn the attention of regulators and sparked a congressional hearing.

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev has said his company was forced into the decision after getting a $3 billion demand from a Wall Street clearinghouse called the National Securities Clearing Corporation.

“We had no choice in this case,” Tenev said this week in a conversation with Elon Musk on the Clubhouse app. “We had to conform to our regulatory capital requirements and so the team did what they could to make sure we were available for customers.”

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