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'Buy DJT' is a new rallying cry for Trump supporters

Trump Media shares were volatile a day after the former president -- and majority shareholder of the company -- became a convicted felon.
Scott Olson
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Trump Media shares were volatile a day after the former president -- and majority shareholder of the company -- became a convicted felon.

Updated May 31, 2024 at 19:25 PM ET

Former President Trump’s historic conviction was met with this reaction from some shareholders of his social media company: It’s time to buy his stock.

One member on Truth Social, @NancysEyebrows, simply posted, "@Buy $DJT!!!

Whether people will respond to this clarion call remains to be seen. It’s a decision that could help determine the performance of Trump Media & Technology Group — the company behind Truth Social. More consequentially, it could also help shape the financial fortunes of its majority shareholder, Donald Trump, at a time when he faces other criminal cases and is in the midst of a heated presidential campaign.

On Friday, Trump Media stock opened up almost 15%, but soon gave up those gains and were down 6% in the afternoon. This comes after the shares initially slumped during after-hours trading on Thursday, when a New York jury found him guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Trading in Trump Media has been incredibly volatile since the company made its debut in late March under the stock symbol DJT. Yet shares have performed better than many professional investors had expected — all thanks to hundreds of thousands of individual investors who have bought into the stock.

Many of these investors are believed to be die-hard Trump supporters. In the hours since the verdict was read on Thursday, they have encouraged each other to buy more shares — and to hold them — according to posts in a Truth Social group for Trump Media shareholders that has more than 11,000 members.

“With Trump owning a majority stake of DJT, the most direct way to support him is to buy the shares and help increase the value,” wrote @jzal in the group "$DJT" on Thursday evening.

"Every $1 gain in price is $114 million in Trump’s pocket," the member also wrote. "Campaign donations are nice but don’t carry this multiplier effect.”

A lot of Trump Media shareholders have bought the stock despite the company’s poor financial performance. Trump Media suffered a loss of over $300 million in the period between January and March and had $770,000 in revenue. It also has only a tiny fraction of active monthly users compared to X or Facebook.

Nonetheless, their buying has propped up shares in Trump Media and boosted the wealth of the former president. His stake as of the close of trading on Thursday was valued at nearly $5.4 billion.

To be sure, for shareholders it will likely remain a wild ride. Trump’s trial — which hinged on whether he falsified business records in order to influence the 2016 presidential contest — has been seen as an early test of how committed Trump’s shareholders would be to Trump Media.

It could get worse. Trump still faces sentencing plus three other state and federal criminal cases as well as the ups and downs of what’s expected to be a heated presidential race — all factors that are expected to directly impact trading in Trump Media.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Rafael Nam
Rafael Nam is NPR's senior business editor.