The Meme Stock Trade Is Back With AMC Jumping 152% Since Monday

Plus, Bitcoin dropped below $36,000, Tesla’s Model 3 sedan lost its Top Pick status with consumer reports, and Gap delivered an earnings beat.

Stocks were higher at the open on Friday with the Dow gaining 94 points, or 0.3%. The S&P 500 added 0.2%, while the Nasdaq rose by 0.4%.

The meme trade is back for AMC Entertainment. The stock is up more than 18% at the time of writing, and is up more than 152% since Monday’s open. “The retail trader is at it again,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “AMC500k and AMCSqueeze were trending on Twitter yesterday and that momentum took the stock price above the end of January high that we saw during the peak of meme stock mania.” AMC has replaced GameStop as the most popular stock in the infamous WallStreetBets Reddit forum, with the stock up 1,151% year-to-date. “The Reddit crowd is strong, the volumes have been off the charts lately, so there’s clearly demand that wasn’t there pre-COVID,” said Macquarie Securities analyst Chad Beynon, adding that he company’s ability to raise cash at over $10 a share earlier this month “marked the first time the company was able to financially benefit from the Reddit rally.”

Bitcoin slipped below $36,000 early Friday, dropping as low as $35,184.77 as traders brace for a volatile holiday weekend. Cryptocurrencies across the board took a hit as Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda joined a growing list of central bankers expressing skepticism about digital coins’ usefulness in the real world. “Most of the trading is speculative and volatility is extraordinarily high,” Kuroda said. “It’s barely used as a means of settlement.” Swissquote senior analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya said, “Looking at the unrest across the crypto market, there is a chance that we see another hectic weekend trading in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

Tesla’s Model 3 sedan lost its Top Pick status by Consumer Reports, which cited the temporary loss of automatic emergency braking and other safety features. Consumer Reports said it removed the Top Pick designation after Tesla ditched radar as a supplement to its camera-based sensors, which temporarily suspended several advanced safety systems. “If a driver thinks their vehicle has a safety feature and it doesn’t, that fundamentally changes the safety profile of the vehicle,” David Friedman, vice president of advocacy for Consumer Reports, said in a statement. The radar decision cost the Model 3 three points in the magazine’s scoring rubric, dropping it to 75 dropping it “recommended” status.

Gap shares are down more than 6% this morning even after the company reported first quarter sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels after the bell on Wednesday. Gap reported earnings per share of $0.48 on revenue of $3.99 billion, while analysts had expected a loss of $0.05 per share on revenue of $3.45 billion. “While active and fleece continue to soar, we saw a resurgence in summer fashion with dresses rebounding, showing that customers are emerging from the crisis wanting to express their style without sacrificing the comfort and digital convenience they’ve become accustomed to,” said CEO Sonia Syngal in a statement.

And a key inflation indicator rose at a faster-than-expected 3.1% in April as price pressures built up in the rapidly expanding U.S. economy. The Commerce Department reported that the core price index jumped the most since July 1992. The sharp increase in inflation came with a sharp deceleration in personal income, which dropped 13.1%. “A very important part of inflation dynamics is longer-term inflation expectations and those have been extremely well anchored, implying that if we saw some development pushing inflation up I wouldn’t expect that the get embedded in the ongoing inflation rate,” Fed Governor Lael Brainard said earlier this week.

Stocks We’re Watching

Titan Machinery Inc (NASDAQ: TITN): Titan Machinery shares jumped as much as 26% yesterday after the company reported fiscal first quarter results. “The fiscal first quarter exceeded our expectations on all fronts with impressive operating leverage that showcases the earnings power of our efficient dealership network. On a consolidated basis, we drove a 26% increase in equipment sales and a 10% increase in our combined parts and service business during the quarter compared to the prior year,” David Meyer, Titan Machinery’s Chairman and CEO, said in an earnings release. “At the segment-level, we are very happy with our Agriculture segment, which generated pre-tax income growth of 82%. We are also pleased with the continued progress we are making in our Construction segment, which generated solid top-line growth and drove another quarter of positive pre-tax income and builds upon the momentum from its profitable fiscal 2021 performance. Our International segment experienced a resurgence during the quarter with strong equipment demand and delivered a corresponding improvement in pre-tax income as well. I’m proud of our team’s performance and pleased to share this success with all our stakeholders.”