BlackBerry boosted by message-board momentum

The Blackberry logo located in the front of the company's B building in Waterloo, Ont., in May 2018. The Canadian Press/Andrew Ryan

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BlackBerry’s stock opened up more than 40 per cent on Monday morning, building on a burst of trading that has seen the Waterloo, Ont.-headquartered firm’s share price nearly triple this year. The smartphone pioneer turned security-software maker didn’t make any particularly notable announcements over the weekend. Its rise on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges instead seems to be driven by the same market exuberance that’s revived the stock of GameStop.   

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Here’s what BlackBerry’s share price looks like over the last six months:

Who’s moving markets?: Readers of /r/wallstreetbets, a Reddit forum with nearly 2.2 million members there to talk stock picking and personal finance strategy. 

BlackBerry’s rise: The share price, mostly flat for much of last year, started to lift on January 14, a couple of days after its presentation at J.P. Morgan’s annual automotive-technology forum. Trading volumes have remained significantly inflated ever since. Popular Reddit threads include “why it will go up to $180,” “Why the re-rise of BlackBerry and why it won’t stop there” and “BlackBerry does stuff.” There are also bear threads, including “The case against QNX,” its automotive-technology division.  

BlackBerry says: It “is not aware of any material, undisclosed corporate developments and has no material change in its business or affairs that has not been publicly disclosed that would account for the recent increase in the market price or trading volume of its common shares.”

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The bigger picture: Market observers have credited volatility in part to the growing number of homebound day traders on low or no-fee services like Robinhood, particularly U.S. ones investing stimulus cheques.