After crypto, Stocktwits takes aim at stocks trading

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By Medha Singh

(Reuters) – launched equities trading on its social media platform for individual investors on Tuesday, months after it brought out crypto trading, betting that a more connected community can navigate dire stock markets.

A popular venue for exchanging trading ideas, Stocktwits was among the online message boards that helped retail investors band together to drive eye-watering gains in meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC last year, squeezing bearish hedge funds.

Trading will directly be available on the platform through Stocktwits’s broker-dealer subsidiary, ST Invest LLC, and users can choose to make their trades public, the company said.

“You can show your community that you actually own the stock that you’re talking about and that will help build trust in the community,” said Rishi Khanna, the chief executive officer of Stocktwits.

Trading activity of individual investors has waned from the highs of 2021, as fears of interest rate hikes and surging inflation dragged the S&P 500 down 19.6% this year.

Stocktwits has more than six million registered users and one million monthly active users. It offers commission-free and fractional stock trading, which tend to entice individual investors that cannot shell out hefty per-share prices.

The New York-based company is now focused on launching options trading on the platform in the fourth quarter, along with a paid subscription for data that analyses retail investor sentiment and activity.

Crypto trading was the first trading capability offered by the platform in February.

The equities trading option will only be available to iOS users initially, and will be followed by releases for the web and Android versions, Stocktwits said.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)