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Penny Stock Craze at Boiling Point With SEC Eyeing Social Media

Feb. 16, 2021, 7:36 PM

GameStop mania is off the front page, but the spirit that fed it still rules many corners of the market. Penny stocks are an area where sentiment remains boiling hot, earning the scrutiny of federal regulators.

Way-off-exchange venues, where lightly regulated companies have repeatedly been drawn into social media-fueled trading vortexes, saw more than 1 trillion shares change hands in December for the first time in a decade. It happened again in January. This month, daily volume is tracking 64% above those levels, a pace that could push the monthly total toward 2 trillion.

The mayhem has caught the eye ...