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Individual-Investing Boom Fuels Trading in Low-Price Stocks

individual-investing-boom-fuels-trading-in-low-price-stocks

On one Thursday in August, more than 10% of all U.S. stock-market trading volume was in shares of Gevo Inc., a little-known renewable-fuels company.

The stock popped to $1.82 from 55 cents that day after the company announced a big contract, triggering a surge in volume. Much of it was at off-exchange venues where retail brokerages route orders—a sign that hordes of individual investors were trading the stock, according to Rosenblatt Securities.

“It…

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