stock market

Stock halts and trading platform outages disrupted markets as Canadian investors joined an internet-based frenzy and piled into stocks such as BlackBerry, GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

Trading in BlackBerry shares was halted twice Wednesday by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada as the Toronto-listed shares surged more than 40% and recorded nearly three times its average volume.

Investing forum TradingView says its website saw a 514% increase in Canadian visitors to its BlackBerry stock page in the past three days and a 1,500% increase in Canadians clicking on its GameStop stock page.

An RBC spokeswoman says there was a brief intermittent outage in online banking Wednesday morning that has since been resolved, after the bank tweeted that access to RBC Direct Investing had been temporarily unavailable.

TD Canada Trust said through its Twitter account that there had been a service disruption and that its investing help line was receiving a very high volume of calls resulting in long wait times.

While the banks did not identify the cause of the disruptions, the outages come amid a social media–based push that has fuelled huge price gains and high trading volume for BlackBerry, GameStop and other stocks.