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Thursday, June 3, 2021

AMC shares double on Wednesday

When the market moves at the speed of AMC (AMC) it can be hard to keep up. 

But all we can tell readers for sure is that the Meme Market is back. 

On Wednesday alone, AMC shares nearly doubled, rising 95% to close at a record $62.55. AMC's market cap is now just north of $28 billion. Since the beginning of May, AMC stock is up more than 500%. Year-to-date, shares have gained about 3,000%. 

The superlatives can go on.

AMC was not alone, however. Shares of Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Express (EXPR), and BlackBerry (BB) all rose more than 30% on Wednesday. Even our old friends at GameStop (GME) got involved, rising some 13% amid a broad rally in meme names widely discussed on reddit and elsewhere. 

But after the GameStop saga of mid-winter came and went, the market's energy moved into areas like NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Dogecoin (DOGE-USD) became a better indicator of risk sentiment than the VIX. In the background of all this the major U.S. stock indexes were treading water, minding their own business as the economy continued to rebound from last year's recession. 

Along the way, the Morning Brief highlighted survey data from Deutsche Bank published in late February that suggested retail traders had no plans to leave the market. In April, fund flow data from Bank of America showed retail investors were still buying stocks while institutions were lightening up on their equity exposure.  

A redux of this winter's full-on meme market, however, seemed unlikely. 

And yet here we are. 

The differences between the winter's GameStop episode and the present mania, of course, are many. 

There has not yet been the emergence of a broad "Wall Street vs. Main Street" dynamic quite yet. Self-promotors from the world of tech, and crypto, and sports betting haven't inserted themselves into the present conversation with the same enthusiasm as was seen back in February. It seems these folks made a quick buck and promoted their own platforms enough the first time around. 

Story continues

Congressional hearings may yet follow, but Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev is not presently the poster child of a broken market system. In fact, online trading platforms have handled recent volatility quite well.

AMC itself is also playing this event differently than its forebears at GameStop. 

The company raised money to shore up its balance sheet earlier this week and on Wednesday announced plans to deepen its relationship with shareholders, including offering free popcorn to investors that go back to the movies. A company's stock is its currency and using surges in interest or price to drive business is a straightforward strategy. 

AMC CEO Adam Aron has taken to Twitter in recent days to talk up the company's plans and outline his views on the stock; GameStop CEO George Sherman is leaving the company next month as the board looks for his replacement. 

Like GameStop, AMC as the leader of this Meme Market 2.0 is not alone in seeing its share price go nuts. Bed, Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Tritton spoke with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday amid a 50%+ surge in his company's stock. Tritton said "today's activity is just a day in time and doesn't effect us operationally." Bed, Bath & Beyond shareholders do not appear likely to get a 20% coupon sent to their homes anytime soon. At least not for being a shareholder. 

As we saw in the winter, can see right now, and will see again in the future these moments of market madness result in everyone mapping their priors onto current events. People who swing hammers will always see nails. 

The only thing it seems we can confidently say, however, is that the Meme Market is back. And perhaps it never left. 

In late 2020 we argued that we'd seen five years of market action in a single year. If there's a lesson to be learned from more people spending more time online it is perhaps, as culture critic Charlie Warzel argued this week, that time itself becomes flattened by the web. Everything is happening all the time and happening more and more. 

And as we've noted elsewhere, what happens on the internet eventually happens in markets. And perhaps all this latest meme run shows us is the feedback loop between these two entities continuing to get tighter. 

By Myles Udland, reporter and anchor for Yahoo Finance Live. Follow him at @MylesUdland

What to watch today

Economy

  • 7:30 a.m. ET: Challenger job cuts, year-over-year, May (-96.6% in April)

  • 8:15 a.m. ET: ADP employment change, May (650,000 expected, 742,000 in April)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: Initial jobless claims, week ended May 29 (386,000 expected, 406,000 during prior week)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: Continuing claims, week ended May 22 (3.614 million expected, 3.642 million during prior week)

  • 9:45 a.m. ET: Markit U.S. Services PMI, May final (70.1 expected, 70.1 in prior print)

  • 9:45 a.m. ET: Markit U.S. composite PMI, May final (68.1 in prior print)

  • 9:45 a.m. ET: ISM Services index, May (63.1 expected, 62.7 in April)

Earnings

  • 4:05 p.m. ET: CrowdStrike (CRWD) is expected to report adjusted earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $291.44 million

  • 4:05 p.m. ET: DocuSign (DOCU) is expected to report adjusted earnings of 28 cents per share on revenue of $436.33 million

  • 4:05 p.m. ET: MongoDB (MDB) is expected to report adjusted losses of 37 cents per share on revenue of $169.86 million

  • 4:05 p.m. ET: Slack (WORK) is expected to report adjusted losses of 1 cent per share on revenue of $265.00 million

  • 4:15 p.m. ET: Broadcom (AVGO) is expected to report adjusted earnings of $6.44 per share on revenue of $6.51 billion

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