Rooting for Trump to fail has made his stock shorters millions

NEW YORK (AP) — Rooting for Donald Trump to fail has rarely been this profitable.

Just ask a hardy band of mostly amateur Wall Street investors who have collectively made tens of millions of dollars over the past month by betting that the stock price of his social media business — Truth Social — will keep dropping despite massive buying by Trump loyalists and wild swings that often mirror the candidate’s latest polls, court trials and outbursts on Trump Social itself.

Several of these investors interviewed by The Associated Press say their bearish gambles using “put” options and other trading tools are driven less by their personal feelings about the former president (most don’t like him) than their faith in the woeful underlying financials of a company that made less money last year than the average Wendy’s hamburger franchise.

“This company makes no money. … It makes no sense,” said Boise, Idaho, ad executive Elle Stange, who estimates she’s made $1,300 betting against Trump Media & Technology stock. “He’s not as great a businessman as he thinks. A lot of his businesses go belly up, quickly.”

Says Seattle IT security specialist Jeff Cheung, “This is guaranteed to go to zero.”

As of Friday morning, a month since Trump Media’s initial public offering sent its stock to $66.22, it has plunged to $38.49. An AP analysis of data from research firms FactSet and S3 Partners shows that investors using puts and “short selling” have paper profits so far of at least $200 million, not including the costs of puts, which vary from trade to trade.

Still, amateur traders, mostly risking no more than a few thousand dollars each, say the stock is too volatile to declare victory yet. So they are cashing in a bit now, letting other bets ride and stealing a glance at the latest stock movements in the office cubicle, at the kitchen table or even on the toilet.

There have been plenty of scary moments, including last week when DJT, the ex-president’s initials and stock ticker, jumped nearly 40% in two days.

“I don’t know which direction the stock is…

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