Reddit group now planning to drive up American Airlines stock after sending ...

The Reddit subgroup fueling the unprecedented surge of GameStop shares is now planning to drive up American Airlines' stock in a campaign that is rattling Wall Street. 

The airline's stock surged by nearly ten per cent after it was mentioned on Reddit's WallStreetBets forum. 

'AAL the next GME?', asked one Reddit user in an online discussion on Wednesday, referring to GameStop, which has seen its shares skyrocket.

WallStreetBets users had previously shared messages hyping up GameStop's stock and urged other investors to hold on to their shares or buy more. 

The campaign effectively sent the GameStop's shares up by 1,700 per cent in four weeks, with three of its largest individual investors gaining more than $3 million in net worth during the stock's staggering rally. 

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It even drew the attention of the White House, with President Biden's press secretary saying his team is 'monitoring the situation'. 

The Reddit subgroup fueling the unprecedented surge of GameStop shares is now planning to drive up American Airlines' stock in a campaign that is rattling Wall Street. The above image is a file photo of an American Airlines plane flying into San Diego International Airport in April

The Reddit subgroup fueling the unprecedented surge of GameStop shares is now planning to drive up American Airlines' stock in a campaign that is rattling Wall Street. The above image is a file photo of an American Airlines plane flying into San Diego International Airport in April

But now it seems the Reddit subgroup have turned their attention to American Airlines. 

'Might hit $30 tomorrow with this market,' one user said about American Airlines. 'I doubt the big traders will let this opportunity pass them again.' 

But some users were skeptical about whether the airline would be a safe option.  

Do what you want with your money, but AAL is a lot bigger than GME,' one said. 'Airlines have been showing bad earnings so far and tomorrow could be bad for American. Don't forget that GME and AMC started with good news.' 

American Airlines, whose stock rose 6.6 per cent to $16.56 at the close on Wednesday at $16.56, its highest level since December 3, will report its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. The company has struggled throughout the coronavirus pandemic - as have other airlines.  

The development comes as the WallStreetsBets server was briefly made private shortly after its users were kicked off gamer messaging app Discord due to hate speech violations.  

Discord, a messaging platform for online gamers, announced it has removed Reddit's WallStreetBets server from its platform for violating its guidelines on hate speech and spreading misinformation

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Discord, a messaging platform for online gamers, announced it has removed Reddit's WallStreetBets server from its platform for violating its guidelines on hate speech and spreading misinformation

Discord on Wednesday confirmed it has banned the WallStreetBets server from its platform, where users had shared

hyping up GameStop's stock and urged other investors to hold on to their shares or buy more. 

The extreme volatility of the surge in shares raised concerns about manipulation which could lead to an investigation by stock market regulators, and has even drawn attention from the White House. 

Discord however, said the channel was not removed due to fraud but for 'continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings.'  

Shortly after, the r/wallstreetbets subreddit was made private by the group's moderators. The forum is reported to be responsible for the unprecedented surge of GameStop stocks that has

Shortly after, the r/wallstreetbets subreddit was made private by the group's moderators. The forum is reported to be responsible for the unprecedented surge of GameStop stocks that has  

Reddit moderators addressed the brief shutdown on Twitter, saying they were actively working to get the page back up and running.

Reddit moderators addressed the brief shutdown on Twitter, saying they were actively working to get the page back up and running. 

The company said the group chat had been on their radar 'for some time' due to content violations and had issued multiple warnings to the server admin before banning it. 

'To be clear, we did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks,' Discord said in a statement.

'Discord welcomes a broad variety of personal finance discussions, from investment clubs and day traders to college students and professional financial advisors.

'We are monitoring this situation and in the event there are allegations of illegal activities, we will cooperate with authorities as appropriate.'  

Within minutes of the server being banned, moderators of the WallStreetBets subreddit made the online chat room private, sending users into a frenzy. 

Access to the page was restricted to members only, however, some longterm subscribers took to social media to claim they had been booted off the page as well.

'You must be invited to visit this community,' its page, where participants discuss stock trading, showed earlier when access was attempted. It became public once more later in the evening.

The forum was made public again minutes later, along with a lengthy statement responding to Discord's ban and accusing the company of 'destroying' their community

The forum was made public again minutes later, along with a lengthy statement responding to Discord's ban and accusing the company of 'destroying' their community

The page also said that it was facing technical difficulties due to an 'unprecedented' scale of newfound interest in the server.

What is Discord? 

Discord is a messaging platform for online gamers released in 2015. 

The app allows users to communicate on 'servers' or chat groups that are organized by various different topics.  

Servers are invite-only channels where users can talk and hang out with communities or friends.  

Users can also talk in voice channels where friends can pop in to talk over voice or video. 

The app saw a boost in users during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, the company reported Discord had reached 100 million active users each month.  

The majority of its users are people in the gaming community, however, some servers are used for other purposes including sports betting and stock trading.

It has also become popular among some right-wing groups.

Discord was among the several social media platforms that took action following the US Capitol riots on January 6.

Two days after the violent siege, the company announced it had removed pro- server 'The Donald' due to its 'overt connection to an online forum used to incite violence, plan an armed insurrection in the United States, and spread harmful misinformation related to 2020 U.S. election fraud.' 

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Moderators later addressed the blockage on their Twitter account saying they were actively working to get the page back up and running. 

'Due to the in tents load the sub was put under today from our explosive growth the mod team has been working behind the scenes to get r/wallstreetbets back up. Please [bear]with us during this trying time,' they said in a tweet. 

The forum was made publicly available again about 40 minutes later, with a lengthy statement responding to the Discord ban pinned to the top of message board.  

In a message titled, 'Where do we go from here and who is going to step up to help us?', moderators accused Discord of 'destroying' their Wallstreetbets community, but failed to address why the forum had gone private on Reddit. 

'We're suffering from success and our Discord was the first casualty. You know as well as I do that if you gather 250k people in one spot someone is going to say something that makes you look bad,' the statement read. 

'That room was golden and the people that run it are awesome. We blocked all bad words with a bot, which should be enough, but apparently if someone can say a bad word with weird unicode icelandic characters and someone can screenshot it you don't get to hang out with your friends anymore. 

Discord did us dirty and I am not impressed with them destroying our community instead of stepping in with the wrench we may have needed to fix things, especially after we got over 1,000 server boosts. That is pretty unethical.'

The statement went on to promote its new Twitter account that will now serve as a a 'megaphone' for moderators. 

Earlier, the White House and Securities and Exchange Commission said they are monitoring the situation after Reddit users led by a YouTube financial guru known as 'Roaring Kitty' sent shares in GameStop up another 130 percent on Wednesday, costing hedge funds billions and prompting the CEO of the Nasdaq Exchange to propose a trading halt. 

The Reddit group WallStreetBets has been driving up GameStop's share price, which closed at $347.51 on Wednesday after starting the month at $17.25, by betting against Wall Street short-sellers who expected the firm to collapse.

It is a battle that pitted small investors using free trading apps such as Robinhood against several massive hedge funds, which had taken out large short positions on the assumption that GameStop's stock would go down.

Millions of Redditors have pursued a strategy known as a 'short squeeze', in which a price rally forces short sellers to buy up more shares. The GameStop surge has inspired copycats to pursue the strategy with heavily shorted theater chain AMC, which saw share prices soar 260 percent on Wednesday. 

YouTuber 'Roaring Kitty' has been one of the key cheerleaders of the GameStock rally

YouTuber 'Roaring Kitty' has been one of the key cheerleaders of the GameStock rally

Professional Wall Street investors are shaken by the bizarre speculative rallies, warning that the bubble that could collapse at any moment, wiping out the gains of the biggest shareholders and small investors alike. 

After markets closed on Wednesday, the SEC released a statement on 'ongoing market volatility,' saying it is working with 'fellow regulators to assess the situation and review the activities of regulated entities, financial intermediaries, and other market participants'. 

The Biden administration has said they are 'monitoring' the flurry of trading action and a growing number of state regulators are calling it dangerous.  

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC on Wednesday morning: 'If we see a significant rise in the chatter on social media ... and we also match that up against unusual trading activity, we will potentially halt that stock to allow ourselves to investigate the situation.'

However GameStop is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, not the Nasdaq.  

GameStop shares rose another 120 percent on Wednesday extending the rally fueled by the Reddit group WallStreetBets, which urged a buying campaign

GameStop shares rose another 120 percent on Wednesday extending the rally fueled by the Reddit group WallStreetBets, which urged a buying campaign

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC on Wednesday morning: 'If we see a significant rise in the chatter on social media ... and we also match that up against unusual trading activity, we will potentially halt that stock to allow ourselves to investigate the situation.'

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC on Wednesday morning: 'If we see a significant rise in the chatter on social media ... and we also match that up against unusual trading activity, we will potentially halt that stock to allow ourselves to investigate the situation.'

Reddit users are piling into the stock in part to punish big hedge funds that shorted it

Reddit users are piling into the stock in part to punish big hedge funds that shorted it

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen had exposure to the turbulent situation as well, after his Point72 Asset Management helped bail out Melvin Capital

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen had exposure to the turbulent situation as well, after his Point72 Asset Management helped bail out Melvin Capital

On the losing end of the recent price action have been a number of hedge funds, who had heavily shorted GameStop stock, betting that the share price would fall.

Hedge funds Citron and Melvin Capital said on Wednesday that they had closed out their short positions after suffering undisclosed losses, likely totaling in the billions. 

Short selling is a way of making money off a stock if the share price goes down, and GameStop had been one of the most shorted stocks on the market when the Reddit group targeted it. 

Why are GameStop shares skyrocketing?

GameStop is one of the most heavily shorted stocks on the market, with more contracts to sell the stock short than there are shares available.

'Short selling' allows an investor to profit when the price of a share drops. Short sellers borrow a stock, sell the stock, and then buy the stock back to return it to the lender.

Reddit users saw an opportunity for what is known as a 'short squeeze', in which rising share prices force short sellers to buy the stock to cover their losses.

Users of the Reddit group WallStreetBets have been urging its millions of members to buy and hold GameStop stock, locking up the supply of shares and forcing desperate hedge funds to bid higher and higher to cover their shorts.

It is a bubble that could burst at any time, if investors decide to cash out and a selling spree ensues.

Most professional investors agree that GameStop's earning potential does not justify the current share price.

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Citron founder Andrew Left has called the Reddit cheerleaders of GameStop an 'angry mob', and recently stopped covering the stock in his research letter, saying he had been harassed by the forum users. 

Melvin Capital, the $12.5 billion hedge fund founded by Gabriel Plotkin, was one of the main targets of the Reddit campaign, after an SEC filing revealed that the fund had a large short position in GameStop.

'By the end of the week (Or even the end of the day), Plotkin is going to have less than a college student 50k in debt who works part time at starbucks,' one Reddit user wrote on Wednesday morning.

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen had exposure to the turbulent situation as well, after his Point72 Asset Management teamed up

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