Shares of the company connected to a planned social media app backed by former President Donald Trump rose sharply Thursday after news that the app has set a target launch date of Feb. 21.
Blank-check company Digital World Acquisition Corp.‘s stock jumped by nearly 20% by the close of the trading day Thursday, on significantly higher-than-average volume. The gains came after the Trump app Truth Social indicated on the Apple app store that it expects to go live next month.
Reuters first reported the target date posting on the app store, where Truth Social is available for pre-order. Feb. 21 is Presidents’ Day, a federal holiday.
Trump’s company is being marketed as an alternative to social media giants Twitter and Facebook, both of which banned him on the grounds of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. Thursday was the anniversary of that attack on Congress, which disrupted proceedings confirming the election of President Joe Biden over Trump.
DWAC and the Trump Media & Technology Group announced in October that they would merge, sending DWAC’s stock price skyrocketing from around $10 per share to as high as $175 per share as retail investors began scooping up stock. That price however drifted much lower in recent months. It closed at $60.27 per share Thursday.
DWAC is a so-called special purpose acquisition company, and like other SPACs was created with no underlying business other than to raise capital from the public stock markets with a goal of identifying another company to merge with or buy with that money within a period or two years or less.
In December, DWAC disclosed in a public filing that two financial regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, had opened investigations into stock trading and communications with Trump’s firm before the merger deal was announced.