AMC’s fortunes are, like all movie theaters, rising in recent weeks as more vaccinated Americans continue to head back to the movies. A new slate of films hitting theaters is certainly helping, but as the actual business of screening movies starts to get back on track it seems AMC is having another wild ride on the stock market.
The movie chain was one of several retail stocks to see huge gains earlier in the year, though GameStop seems to be the one that’s attracted the most attention and movie pitches. And though there were some wild peaks and valleys, AMC continues to rise as retail traders boost its value and target hedge funds in similar ways that made the stock a topic of national conversation earlier in the year.
As CNBC detailed, shares of AMC quadrupled on Wednesday, causing trading to halt several times amid wild spikes in value.
The frenzy started right out of the gate. About 10 minutes into the session, trading in the stock was halted for the first time due to volatility. Shares were halted several additional times during the first hour of trading amid heavy activity.
The stock finished the day with a 301.21% gain to close at $19.90. That was slightly below the stock’s high of the day — $20.36 — from just after the opening bell. During premarket trading shares had been up as much as 360%.
Roughly one hour into trading more than 500 million shares had already changed hands — significantly above the stock’s 30-day average volume of 86.8 million shares a day. By 4pmET more than 1.1 billion shares had been traded.
Shot selling continues to be a focus of traders on financial-based Reddit boards, who have fueled many of these big jumps in value in recent months. Some of the other retail stocks targeted by meme stock enthusiasts also saw bumps this week, too, like Bed Bath And Beyond and Kodak. But as MarketWatch explains, after weeks of similar trading patters, the fates of AMC and GameStop seem to have divided in recent days in part to the percentage of short sellers on the movie stock compared to GameStop.
According to Ortex Analytics, short interest in GameStop stock fell off Thursday morning while short interest in AMC was up slightly. The data reinforces the thesis widely held by the retail crowd that short sellers are still a major factor in their trade even after January’s manic short squeeze caused panic and pain for hedge funds betting against both stocks.
“HEDGIES – REAL TALK TIME,” Reddit user PeakedInThe80s posted on r/Supertstonk midday Thursday. “The first one of you to cover your shorts MIGHT be able to scrape together enough shares to make it out alive. The later ones are f—d.”
Meme stocks and crypto have been all the rage in recent weeks, and if this latest surge is any indication its impact on the market isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And as CEO Adam Aron has already said the surge AMC stock has seen officially has helped save the company from bankruptcy, saying earlier in the week that it’s now “completely off the table.”