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Trump Media warns Nasdaq of suspected market manipulation

Frank Franklin II/AP

Trump Media, the parent company of the former president’s Truth Social, alerted Nasdaq Inc. on Thursday of what the company suspects is illegal activity driving down the price of its shares.

In a letter to the exchange, Devin Nunes, the CEO of Trump Media (DJT), laid out what he believes could be deemed “naked” short selling.

Naked short selling involves someone selling shares they don’t own or have not borrowed. They will often then try to buy shares at a reduced price to cover themselves. This practice is generally illegal. Whereas legitimate short sellers, people who seek to benefit from declines in the value of a company’s shares, borrow the shares before selling.

The letter was made public Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Nunes also noted in the letter that shares of the company were on a list the Nasdaq maintains that’s “indicative of unlawful trading activity.”

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“This is particularly troubling given that “naked” short selling often entails sophisticated market participants profiting at the expense of retail investors,” he said.

Representatives from Nasdaq and Trump Media did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The company, which is majority-owned by former President Donald Trump, is down by around 50% from the all-time high it set on March 26, the day after it merged with a blank-check acquisition company to go public.

Shares of company have been on a wild ride since.

Although the company is still worth billions of dollars, it is struggling to make money and needs cash. Experts have warned investors to be careful if they choose to trade the stock, because the company doesn’t have the fundamentals to back up its sky-high valuation.

Trump Media lost $58 million in 2023 and made just $4.1 million in revenue.

Shares of the company ended Friday’s session about 9.6% higher.

This story has been updated with additional developments and context.

CNN’s Nicole Goodkind contributed to this report.

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