Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday suspended trading in inactive Minnesota corporation SpectraScience Inc., among the latest securities to see a surge in interest from retail investors on social media.

The suspension comes after weeks of volatile trading of the so-called “meme stocks” - assets which draw sudden interest from retail investors amid discussion on social media websites.

The trend was notably led in late January by the 400% surge in one week in share prices of struggling video game retailer GameStop Corp on a wave of bullish commentary shared on sites including Reddit and Twitter.

Story continues below advertisement

Short sellers were forced to pay up to cover their bearish positions and investors who bought at the heights were left suffering steep losses when crashed back down.

Since late January, some social media accounts “may be engaged in a coordinated attempt to artificially influence” SpectraScience’s share price even though the company had not filed any periodic reports since November 2017 or any publicly available news, according to SEC’s statement and order.

“The Commission is of the opinion that the public interest and the protection of investors require a suspension of trading in the securities” of SpectraScience, the SEC said.

The SEC has said it was looking into the market volatility and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen convened U.S. financial markets regulators to discuss the matter. The tumult has also drawn scrutiny from Capitol Hill and state securities regulators.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies