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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

GameStop, AMC shares soar as traders pile back in to meme stocks

A GameStop store in New York on March 4.    (Shelby Knowles/Bloomberg)
By Subrat Patnaik and Bre Bradham Washington Post

Meme-stock traders again piled into shares of GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., a day after both soared in a revival of the retail frenzy.

The video-game retailer jumped as much as 113% on Tuesday, while the beleaguered movie theater chain surged 129% - triggering halts in the trading of both soon after the opening bell. Even with the rapid rallies, each remains below the heights they reached during 2021’s meme-stock heyday.

The latest rally had been turbocharged on Monday following the return to social media of Keith Gill, who drove the meme-stock mania of 2021 under the moniker “Roaring Kitty.” Gill shot to fame that year by rallying day traders on Reddit in an effort to squeeze GameStop short sellers.

On Tuesday morning, AMC announced it had completed a previously announced at-the-market offering of shares, raising about $250 million in total as it sold 72.5 million shares for an average price of $3.45. AMC traded as high as $11.88 on Tuesday.

“I think it shaped up pretty good for everybody here,” said Tuttle Capital Management CEO Matthew Tuttle. “They did what they needed to do, and the shareholders didn’t get wiped out.”

Both stocks rallied more than 70% on Monday as option volume surged to the highest level since July 2022.

“GameStop ranked as the second-most traded stock by retail investors for out of the money call option volumes on Monday,” said Giacomo Pierantoni, head of data at Vanda Research.

Traders quickly looked to stocks beyond GameStop and AMC that could move in sympathy, lifting a large swath of names with high short interest on Monday. That trend continued on Tuesday as SunPower Corp. shares jumped by a record, while BlackBerry Ltd., Lucid Group Inc. and Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. also rallied.

While the surge during the height of the pandemic included a staunch commitment by retail traders to “hodl” - or hold on for dear life - they’re now more experienced, Tuttle said.

“The people trading this stuff now are a lot more seasoned and understand where to get in generally speaking and where to get out,” he said.