Robinhood expands trading restrictions to 50 stocks

Securities on the restricted list range from Starbucks to Rolls-Royce

Robinhood has expanded its trading restrictions from 13 securities on Thursday to 50 on Friday afternoon.

Securities on the restricted list range from Starbucks to Rolls-Royce as the mobile brokerage app confronts high trading volume from last week into the weekend.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SBUX STARBUCKS CORP. 113.02 -0.49 -0.43%
RR n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Robinhood pointed Fox Business to a Friday blog post for more context about the restrictions.

"As a brokerage firm, we have many financial requirements, including SEC net capital obligations and clearinghouse deposits," the post reads. "... These requirements exist to protect investors and the markets and we take our responsibilities to comply with them seriously, including through the measures we have taken today."

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The mobile brokerage app came under scrutiny Thursday after it initially announced it was restricting transactions for "certain securities to position closing only," including GameStop, AMC, Nokia and 10 others.

The Robinhood app on a smartphone in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

Robinhood founder Vladimir Tenev in a Thursday evening statement said that starting Friday, the app would begin allowing limited buys of the securities it restricted and "continue to monitor the situation and may make adjustments as needed."

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Users can purchase a maximum of one share for the majority of the securities on Robinhood's restricted list and as many as five shares for other securities on the list, such as Rolls-Royce. The company's website notes that "limits may be subject to change throughout the day."

"We cannot control ... the lightning-fast spread of information and misinformation that takes place on social media, and for that I am incredibly sorry to our customers and staff for this," Tenev said Thursday.

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The restrictions came amid an unexpected spike in share prices of stocks that short-sellers were expecting to fall. Retail investors spurred by the online Reddit forum WallStreetBets piled into stocks ranging from GameStop to Blackberry and Bed Bath & Beyond, creating a surge in trading volume this week.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GME GAMESTOP CORP. 181.11 +7.51 +4.33%
BB BLACKBERRY LTD. 10.76 +0.19 +1.80%
BBBY BED BATH & BEYOND, INC. 14.17 +0.50 +3.66%

Some of the app's users have joined a class-action lawsuit against Robinhood that alleges the company knowingly and willingly restricted certain securities transactions, putting the investors who use the app at a disadvantage.

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A number of celebrities and politicians on both sides of the political spectrum condemned Robinhood's decision to restrict trading, and New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that she is investigating the move.