How a Pirate-Clad Pastor Helped Ignite Trump Media’s Market Frenzy

Connected media – Connected media

Mr. Nedohin raised his arms in celebration. A few minutes later, he cut to a video of a rocket blasting into the sky, with Mr. Trump photoshopped onto it. “We are holding Trump stocks,” he declared. “We are now financial investors in him.”

Mr. Nedohin is one of hundreds of thousands of amateur investors who own shares of Trump Media, convinced that its sole platform, Truth Social, will become one of the world’s most popular and profitable social media sites. In recent months, tens of thousands of Trump fans have tuned into Mr. Nedohin’s webcasts, where he exhorts viewers to invest in the company, arguing that “Trump always wins in the long run.”

The enthusiasm from Mr. Nedohin and other Trump supporters has turned Trump Media into the latest “meme stock,” driven more by internet hype than business fundamentals. In the public markets, these amateur investors have found themselves pitted against professional short sellers, specialist investors who bet that stocks will fail, as well as frantic day traders looking for a quick profit.

As a result, Trump Media’s stock price has swung wildly, sometimes dropping as much as 18 percent or rising as much as 28 percent in a single day. The company is “a meme stock on steroids,” one analyst recently wrote.

The stock’s unpredictable swings have major implications for Mr. Trump’s finances. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee owns more than $4 billion in Trump Media shares, including recently awarded bonus shares — a potential lifeline as he faces steep legal bills tied to the cases against him. The stock’s volatility could add hundreds of millions of dollars to his paper wealth — or vaporize it.

Associated media – Associated media