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Trump SPAC halted multiple times as stock jumps again in volatile trading

The social media app will be developed by Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG).

Rafael Henrique | LightRocket | Getty Images

Digital World Acquisition Corp., the SPAC that is taking former President Donald Trump‘s planned social media platform public, soared Friday following a massive rally in the previous session.

Trading in the stock was halted due to volatility multiple times in morning trading Friday. The SPAC, which trades under the ticker DWAC on the Nasdaq, skyrocketed 216% at one point and last traded up 117%. The stock surged more than 350% to close Thursday at $35.54 in explosive trading volume and volatility.

The Trump effect wasn’t limited to DWAC.

Phunware, the advertising software startup involved with Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, jumped in unison with DWAC. The stock last traded up 1,099% to $16.82 per share Friday, bringing its week-to-date rally to nearly 1,700%.

SPAC stands for special purpose acquisition company, which raises money on the public markets with a goal of merging with a private company and taking it public within two years. Investors typically have no clue what the target company will be when the SPAC debuts and trades on the stock exchange.

Signs emerged that small-time retail investors could be behind the monstrous rally in the SPAC. On Thursday, DWAC the single most actively traded stock on Fidelity’s brokerage platform. Meanwhile, the ticker was among the most popular mentions on Reddit’s WallStreetBets. The SPAC was also a trending topic on Twitter, which indicated that DWAC could be having a meme stock moment like GameStop and AMC.

One top post on the WallStreetBets message board Friday morning featured what appeared to be the user’s equity portfolio, touting daily gains of over $10,000 from betting on the SPAC. The post, which called the former president “Daddy Trump,” quickly drew more than 800 comments.

The new company, the yet-to-be-launched Trump Media & Technology Group, said its “mission is to create a rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the ‘Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America.”

The move came after Trump got banned by social media giants Twitter and Facebook since early this year after he was accused of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by a mob of his supporters. The violence interrupted the confirmation of Trump’s Electoral College loss to President Joe Biden.

Warrants in the SPAC, which trade under the ticker DWACW, also experienced outsized trading volume on Thursday. Warrants are a deal sweetener that offers early investors more compensation for their cash. They are contracts that give the holder the right to purchase additional shares in the future at a certain price.

— CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed reporting.

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