The huge proportion of shares in AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. trading in dark pools has raised suspicions among retail investors. So today, I decided to find out if AMC is really more likely to be traded in dark pools.
What I found surprised me.
First, a little explanation. A dark pool is a privately operated stock exchange. It does not report prices publicly like the NYSE or Nasdaq.
In fact, there is little transparency of any sort. Most are operated by large investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
So AMC shares are 50% more likely to be traded in this opaque, secretive type of exchange.
What’s more, shares in tiny “microcap” stocks are the most likely to trade on dark pools. But AMC has a market cap of $21 billion, making it a large cap stock.
If you look at the two stocks most similar in size to AMC, VICI Properties, Inc. and Netapp, Inc., you see much lower figures. 30% and 26% of their shares trade in dark pools respectively, less than half that of AMC.
And if you look at one of the most commonly traded shares in the market, the S&P 500 ETF Trust, it too is traded in dark pools only half as often as AMC.
Trading in AMC shares looks increasingly fishy.
How much more evidence does the SEC need before they investigate?
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