By Matt Egan, CNN Business

Updated 4:16 PM ET, Fri October 22, 2021

What on earth is a SPAC?

New York (CNN Business)Former President Donald Trump’s planned return to Wall Street is setting off a frenzy.Shares of the shell company that Trump’s new media company plans to merge with surged as much as 284% on Friday, prompting a series of trading halts for volatility.The company, Digital World Acquisition Corp., finished the day up 107%.

At its peak of $175 on Friday, the Nasdaq-listed company was a staggering 1,657% above its Wednesday closing price.

Trump announced Wednesday night a deal to list Trump Media & Technology Group through what’s known as a SPAC, or a Special Purpose Acquisition Company.

The new Trump entity is merging with Digital World Acquisition Corp., which closed at just $9.96 on Wednesday. The stock quadrupled on Thursday and then climbed as high as $131.90 Friday morning.”This is extremely unusual, especially now,” said Matt Kennedy, senior IPO market strategist at Renaissance Capital. “We saw significant pops during the height of the SPAC bubble. Nowadays it’s rare to see a SPAC pop more than 10%.”

Trump is going public by taking advantage of Wall Street's blank-check boom

Trump is going public by taking advantage of Wall Street’s blank-check boomNormally, SPAC merger announcements contain financial projections and details on the capital structure. In this case, there was merely a press release and an investor presentation that contained no estimates on how much money the company could bring in.”This is clearly meme stock territory. It’s totally disconnected from fundamentals. There are no known fundamentals,” said Kennedy, who warned investors that $10 should be looked at as the floor for this stock.”Be prepared to lose potentially everything else,” he said. “This is a stock trading purely on momentum.”The Trump SPAC is attracting interest from traders at WallStreetBets, according to Swaggy Stocks, which tracks mentions on the Reddit page. WallStreetBets is the Reddit group at the heart of the GameStop saga earlier this year.The bonanza comes despite the fact that the latest filings do not indicate how much revenue — if any — Trump Media & Technology Group generates. It’s likely to be minimal, given that the firm’s social media platform has not launched yet.

Trump’s businesses have a long history of filing for bankruptcy: Trump has filed four business bankruptcies, all focused on the casinos he used to own in Atlantic City.The last Trump IPO occurred in 1995 when he brought Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts public. The casino company posted losses every year it was public, and a decade later, it filed for bankruptcy.

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