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DJT shares close down more than 9% as Trump Media hot streak stalls

Trump Media shares dropped sharply Wednesday, closing down by more than 9.5%.

Trump Media, which trades under the DJT ticker, closed at $45.16 per share, a loss of $4.77 per share.

The company, which owns the Truth Social app, is still trading well below the more than $70 per share it opened at in its public trading debut on March 26.

Trump Media in a regulatory disclosure Tuesday confirmed that former President Donald Trump received an extra 36 million shares of the company in a so-called earnout bonus.

Trump, who already owned more than 78 million shares, received the windfall because the share price remained above a benchmark of $17.50 for 20 trading days over the month since the stock began being publicly traded.

Trump’s stake in Trump Media now stands at 65% of the company’s shares, and is worth $5.7 billion at a share price of $50.

The former president is barred from selling those shares during the six months following the execution of Trump Media’s merger with the shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp. in late March.

Trump Media’s share price surge has come as the company’s CEO, former Republican congressman Devin Nunes, has complained about potential market manipulation of the company’s stock by short sellers, and as the firm has encouraged shareholders to take steps that would prevent their stock from being loaned for short selling trades.

Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of predictive analytics at S3 Partners, told CNBC that short interest in DJT shares is more than $147 million, with 3.55 million shares shorted.

Dusaniwsky said the fees charged to borrow shares for short sell trades are “rising again with stock borrow fees on existing shorts nearing 300% fee and rates on new stock borrows to support new short sales are hitting the 600% fee level.”

“This means that existing short sellers need to have DJT’s stock price decline by -$0.35 every day just to cover their short financing costs,” he wrote in an email.

While there was increased short selling in Trump Media since the beginning of the year, when it still traded under the DWAC ticker, since the middle of April, there has been an increase in covering of short positions by traders, Dusaniwsky said.

“For the year, there has been 1.4 million new shares shorted, worth $59 million, a 66% increase in total shares shorted,” Dusaniwsky wrote. “But over the last thirty days we’ve seen 2.8 million shares of short covering, worth $97 million, a -40% decline in total shares shorted.”

“DJT’s early April price drop still makes it a profitable month for DJT short sellers with a +$79 million month-to-date mark-to-market profits, +43% for the month,” he said. “But since mid-April, DJT shorts are down -$80 million in mark-to-market losses, -62%.”

“These losses, coupled with the sky-high stock borrow costs have squeezed some shorts out of their positions,” he wrote. “Expect more short covering if DJT’s stock price stays at these levels or higher as the high stock borrow financing costs keep taking a bite out of prospective profits, even on weekends.”

This post appeared first on NBC NEWS

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