GameStop and Meme Stock Mania Are Back. Should You Join?

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One of the pandemic’s wildest investing trends is making a comeback: Shares of GameStop, the ultimate meme stock, have more than tripled since the market opened Monday, and other heavily shorted stocks are spiking, too.

Shares of GameStop (GME) rose 74% in intraday trading on Monday fueled by speculation over a series of cryptic social media posts by Keith Gill — a.k.a. Roaring Kitty, a financial analyst and investor who served as the unofficial mascot of 2021’s meme stock rally.

The momentum continued into Tuesday morning, with shares climbing over 125% in premarket trading, seeing the stock rise from $10 in mid-April to $64.70 by May 14’s market open.

Meme stock mania returns

Meme stocks look to be repeating, or at least attempting to repeat, their Reddit community-fueled attack on institutional investors who are short stocks like GameStop. Trading volume for GME surged on Monday, ultimately pushing shares up over 500% during the past month.

Currently, nearly 25% of GameStop’s public float — or the number of a company’s outstanding shares available to public investors on the market — is being shorted.

On Monday alone, it’s estimated that hedge funds with large short positions in GameStop lost a collective $1 billion. During the original meme stock short squeeze in 2021, hedge funds that were short GameStop lost a total of $10 billion when the stock skyrocketed to $483 per share, according to a report by S3 Partners.

Those losses were reflected in the 2023 film Dumb Money, which starred Paul Dano as Keith Gill and documented the demise of hedge fund Melvin Capital Management.

As for Gill’s personal investment in the stock, his GME position reached 200,000 shares in April 2021, valued in excess of $30 million, before he disappeared from social media for nearly three years before resurfacing yesterday.

Other stocks joining the GameStop rally

GameStop is not the only meme stock whose prices are popping this week. Shares of AMC, Beyond Meat, BlackBerry, Koss and the Children’s Place — whose stocks are also being heavily shorted — are also rallying.

These companies are generally considered to be fundamentally flawed, and investors are assuming massive risk by purchasing shares. But momentum and media seem to be propelling these stocks on day 2 with no signs of slowing down.

Even attempts to reduce price volatility by the Securities and Exchange Commisssion (SEC) have proven futile. On Monday, the SEC halted trading of GME an unprecedented nine times in the first 70 minutes of trading.

Regardless of this week’s rally, investors should venture into meme stock territory with open eyes and understand that they are extremely risky investments.

“It looks like retail investors are becoming more bullish again and willing to take on more risk,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Finalto, said to CNBC. “There is no fundamental reason for the move as such — GME’s last earnings report was abysmal.”

Despite this, the stock ended Monday up 94%.

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