Robinhood Brings Down Company Trading Restrictions from 50 to 8

Robinhood, the stock platform that put restraints on trading of shares like the video game retailer GameStop and the movie theater chain AMC after a frenzy of buying and selling last week, has decreased the number of companies with trading restrictions to eight from 50, according to an update on its website.

The brokerage firm, which has attracted millions of millennials by eliminating trading fees and making stock trading easy, said last Thursday that it would limit buying of the kinds of securities that set off an enormous rally in shares of GameStop, AMC and a number of other companies.

The move drew ire from investors, as well as leaders across the political spectrum — including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York; Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas; and Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts — who accused the platform of manipulating the market to favor big traders.

“It was not because we wanted to stop people from buying these stocks,” Robinhood said in a blog post, adding that the platform had to take steps to limit the securities because “the required amount we had to deposit with the clearinghouse was so large.”

Wall Street’s main clearinghouse for stock trades on Thursday demanded $3 billion in additional collateral, Robinhood’s chief executive, Vladimir Tenev, told Elon Musk in a conversation on the social network Clubhouse late on Sunday.

Robinhood removed barriers to some trades on Friday and said it had raised $1 billion to help ensure it had enough money to cover the transactions.

The platform increased the number of restricted companies to 50 before paring down the list, which includes GameStop, BlackBerry, AMC Entertainment Holdings, Express, Genius Brands International, Koss Corporation, Naked Brand Group, and Nokia.

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