Looming Stock Sale and Stiffening Crypto Rules Hit Robinhood Shares

A looming share sale by early Robinhood Markets Inc. investors and a toughening regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies are adding to the headwinds in the stock market for the darling of the U.S. retail trading mania.

Falling interest in stock trading by amateurs as they headed back to the office already has put pressure on the stock, which has slumped 41% from its August peak versus a 1.8% drop for the Nasdaq 100 Index.

That’s coinciding with a rise of sports betting app downloads in the U.S., said Mirabaud tech analyst Neil Campling in a note.

“We can’t help wonder if the combination of the end of benefits, the return to work and the return of live action sports are all conspiring to hurt the ‘3 R’ (retail, Robinhood, Reddit’ brigade)?” he said.

Regulatory intervention in cryptocurrency trading, and in a payment arrangement between brokerages and trading firms, could pose risks to its business, Robinhood said in a regulatory filing late Friday.

It’s also seeking to speed up a previously announced shareholder stock sale, the company said. The shares fell as much as 1.3% to $41.25 at 9:39 a.m. in New York.

Robinhood’s app downloads, a proxy for account openings, fell 78% in the third quarter compared with the second, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts said last month, citing tracking data from Apptopia.

That compares with a drop of about 50% for Binance, Coinbase and other crypto apps that also rode the retail trading trend.

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