Markets

Move over Tesla: Robinhood day-trading crowd finds a new speculative favorite in Kodak

Key Points
  • The Robinhood crowd has a new favorite speculative stock: Eastman Kodak.
  • In the last 24 hours, more than 60,000 users have added the stock to their portfolio, making it by far the most popular stock on the millennial-favored trading app according to data from Robintrack.
  • Shares of the photography pioneer sky-rocketed more than 500% at one point on Wednesday after the U.S. government on Tuesday awarded the company a $765 million loan to produce pharmaceutical components.

The Robinhood crowd has a new favorite speculative stock: Eastman Kodak.

In the last 24 hours, more than 60,000 users have added the stock to their portfolio, making it by far the most popular stock on the millennial-favored trading app according to data from Robintrack, which tracks user activity but is not affiliated with the company.

Shares of the photography pioneer sky-rocketed more than 500% at one point on Wednesday after the U.S. government on Tuesday awarded the company a $765 million loan to produce pharmaceutical components in an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares were repeatedly halted for volatility during Wednesday's session. The stock finished the day at $33.20 per share for a gain of 318%, after earlier rising to a session high of $60.

Wednesday's spike follows a more than 200% gain on Tuesday, putting the stock on track for a more than 1,430% gain for the week. The company's valuation now stands above $1 billion. Before Tuesday's announcement, the company was valued at $115 million.

"Any time a stock has this big a move, it is going to draw attention, especially one that was a household name," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "However, people have to be careful here ... there have been a number of trading halts already today. Caution should be the operative word," he added.

MarketRebellion co-founder Pete Najarian said Wednesday's trading volume in the stock was "outrageous" compared with the usual activity. He said that 122 million shares had already been traded before noon on Wednesday, following 272 million shares exchanging hands on Tuesday. This is compared with the prior daily average trading volume of 125,000.

He also noted that the stock is in the top five in terms of volume in the options market, with activity 6,000% above normal.

Retail investors have been a large part of the rally that's seen the S&P 500 bounce 48% from its March low. According to data from Robintrack, these investors also frequently pile into more speculative areas of the market, including names like Nikola, Plug Power and Virgin Galactic.

VIDEO1:3201:32
Nearly 50,000 Robinhood accounts added Tesla to holdings in last 24 hours

Tesla is another popular name on the app. Earlier this month, for example, nearly 50,000 accounts added the stock in the span of just 24 hours. The electric vehicle company is currently the eighth most popular holding, according to Robintrack.

Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012 as consumers shifted to digital cameras.

This is not, however, Kodak's first foray in the drug industry. The company was previously involved in the production of non-prescription medicines, before selling the unit to SmithKline Beecham, which later became GlaxoSmithKline, in 1994.

- CNBC's Yun Li contributed reporting.

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