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Trump's Truth Social platform soars in second day of trading on Nasdaq

What to know about Trump Media's Nasdaq debut
What to know about Trump Media's stock market debut 04:03

Former President Donald Trump's Truth Social began trading under the ticker "DJT" on Tuesday, putting the real estate tycoon — and his initials — at the helm of a publicly traded company once again. 

Trump Media & Technology Group shares soared in their second day of trading, rising $8.23, or 14.2%, to $66.22 on Wednesday. That follows a gain of 16% on Tuesday when the company began trading on Nasdaq.

The gains give Trump Media & Technology Group a market value of $9.4 billion. Trump, who owns 58% of the newly public company, now has a stake valued at $5.2 billion — at least on paper.

The company, whose main asset is the social media service Truth Social, has captured the attention of both critics and supporters, with some investors buying stock to express their support for the former president. Others are retail investors who want to cash in on the mania, rather than big institutional and professional investors. 

"DJT has all the makings of a meme stock, given the Trump news factor," noted Ben Emons, senior portfolio manager and head of fixed income at NewEdge Wealth, in a Tuesday research note. "For global macro investors, DJT will be a proxy for how markets price Trump 2.0 policies."

Trump Media is now the most expensive stock to short in the U.S., according to Bloomberg News. Short-selling, which involves betting that a specific stock will decline, is pricey for Trump's company because there are few shares available to borrow and there's high interest in betting against the company, the report noted.

On Truth Social Tuesday, users were posting about being shareholders or seeking tips on how to buy shares. One user urged conservatives to "get behind the DJT stock and sent it over $100 per share" to "drive the liberals insane!" Another declared: "Get yourself a piece of #DJT stock if your a true MAGA supporter."

On Monday, Trump told reporters that "Truth Social is doing very well. It's hot as a pistol and doing great." On Tuesday, he posted "I LOVE TRUTH SOCIAL, I LOVE THE TRUTH!," on the platform. A day earlier, Trump Media CEO Devin Nunes, a former Republican congressman, said that going public will allow the company "to build a movement to reclaim the Internet from Big Tech censors."

Despite the enthusiasm, investors could experience a bumpy ride. For one, they're betting on a company with uncertain financial prospects. Trump Media lost $49 million in the first nine months of last year, when it brought in just $3.4 million in revenue and had to pay $37.7 million in interest expenses.

DJT: an "on brand" ticker

Trump Media & Technology Group said in a statement Monday that the ticker symbol would be active on Tuesday following its merger with a so-called blank-check company, also known as a special purchase acquisition company (SPAC). SPACs are shell companies created to take a private business public without going through an initial public offering.

In the case of Trump's media business, the shareholders of the SPAC, called Digital World Acquisition Corp., voted Friday in favor of the merger, ushering in the next step of taking the new Truth Social company public without an IPO. The merged company officially changed its name to Trump Media & Technology Group after the deal was completed on Monday, the statement said. 

Trump's Truth Social soars in first day of trading on Nasdaq 00:31

The eponymous symbol "is so on brand" for Trump, noted Kristi Marvin, chief executive of, a service that provides news and data about the SPAC industry.

Ahead of the debut of the new DJT ticker, shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. soared $13.01, or 35%, to $49.95 on Monday.

Trump: Will he sell DJT shares?

Trump Media & Technology Group's multibillion valuation significantly boosts Trump's wealth at a time he faces mounting financial pressure from a string of lawsuits. On Monday, he got a major break when an appeals court reduced a $464 million civil fraud judgment to $175 million, yet he still faces mounting legal bills related to other cases.

Trump could eventually sell some of DJT stock to help pay for his legal bills, although in the near-term the company has a "lock up" period that effectively bars its executives from selling shares for six months. However, the company's board — comprised of Trump associates such as Kash Patel, an official during the Trump administration; and son, Donald Trump Jr. — could waive or shorten the lock-up period, experts said.

"Trump cannot sell his stock in the company for six months, making it difficult to translate Truth Social's value into liquid cash that can be spent on the campaign," Europa Group analysts said in a report. "That outlook could change over the coming months, particularly if Trump obtains the waiver or can find a lender willing to accept shares in Trump Media as collateral."

But there's a risk if Trump sells his stock, Emons noted. Because he owns a sizable chunk of the company, selling his shares could undermine its trading stability. For instance, "If he goes ahead [with selling], it could sink DJT by at least 15% to 40% based on option pricing," Emons calculated.

Truth Social: Losing money

To be sure, plenty of tech companies have gone public while in the red, yet typically investors want to see that a business can grow its user base and ramp up sales quickly by appealing to a broad range of advertisers. 

Truth Social, which doesn't release its user numbers, had roughly 5 million visits in February, according to research firm Similarweb estimates. 

By comparison, Reddit, which went public last week, had about 73.1 million daily active users last year, while revenue jumped 21% to $804 million in 2023, it reported last month ahead of the IPO filing.

Previous DJT ticker: From IPO to penny stock

It's also not the first time that Trump has overseen a publicly traded company with the ticker DJT. 

The previous iteration of the DJT ticker occurred in 1995, when Trump took his Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts public in an IPO. The idea was to raise money in the public markets that would help Trump expand his casino businesses, according to the New York Times' account of the IPO. 

Trump hit with gag order in "hush money" case 05:56

The shares initially performed well, increasing from its IPO price of $14 to a high of $35 a share soon after. But the stock plunged over the next few years, eventually trading for pennies, according to the Washington Post. 

Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004. 

—With reporting by the Associated Press.

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