Robinhood Shares Skyrocket So Much in Price Trading Halted 3 Times in 30 Minutes

Popular brokerage app Robinhood's stock has skyrocketed again Wednesday, with the price jumping so much that trading was temporarily halted three times within the first half hour after the market opened.

As of 10:47 a.m. Eastern time, Robinhood Markets was up 28.5 percent at $60.15, following the trend of gains this week. Once already this week, the stock was up 80 percent.

After opening at $38 last week, Robinhood stock struggled briefly, dropping to $34.82. It took less than four days for the stock to bounce back, touching as high as $85 earlier Wednesday morning.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Robinhood Kiosk
Robinhood's stock skyrocketed in price so much Wednesday morning that trading had to be temporarily halted three times in 30 minutes. People wait in line for T-shirts at a pop-up kiosk for the online brokerage Robinhood along Wall Street after the company went public with an IPO earlier in the day on Thursday in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Even ahead of its initial public offering, experts warned that Robinhood's stock could be primed for a more jagged ride than others on Wall Street because of its popularity among smaller investors.

Robinhood reserved a bigger-than-usual chunk of its IPO shares for smaller investors, which fits with its mission of "democratizing finance." The company has introduced a new generation of younger and smaller-pocketed investors to the stock market, thanks to its zero-trading fees and easy-to-use app. But the move also gave fewer shares to big institutional investors, who have more of a reputation for holding onto a stock for the long term.

Robinhood has found support from some big names on Wall Street. Cathie Wood, a star stock picker who focuses on innovative companies, has bought shares, for example.

Her flagship ARK Innovation exchange-traded fund owns nearly 4.9 million shares, putting Robinhood within the fund's top 30 holdings. The fund has about $25.5 billion in total assets.

Robinhood is already delivering the strong growth that Wall Street is always hungry for: Revenue soared 245 percent last year to $959 million. It has amassed an estimated 22.5 million funded accounts since its 2013 founding. More than half its customers are first-time investors, and Robinhood gives them greater ability to keep up with the stock-holding, wealthier households that had been pulling away for years.

But Robinhood has also drawn heaps of criticism, and has paid more than $130 million in recent years to settle a list of accusations by regulators. Critics say Robinhood encourages unsophisticated investors to make trades too often that may be too risky, and the regulatory scrutiny is likely to stay high.

Some users are also still angry at Robinhood and other brokerages for temporarily barring them from trading shares of GameStop early this year, when soaring moves for it and other "meme stocks" were shaking Wall Street. But Robinhood may be turning into something of a meme stock itself.

"I hate Robinhood, but I got in and made $1k in 20 minutes," said one user on Reddit's WallStreetBets forum, a central hub for the explosion of meme stocks this year.

Robinhood CEO
Robinhood's stock is flying again Wednesday, jumping so much that trading was temporarily halted after the market opened. Vladimir Tenev, CEO and co-founder of Robinhood, is shown on an electronic screen at Nasdaq in New York's Times Square following his company's IPO, Thursday. Mark Lennihan, File/AP Photo