On Wednesday, trading in AMC stock was momentarily halted when the company’s stock price soared on the strength of a promise to give away free popcorn to investors, in the latest illustration of how Wall Street’s’meme trading’ craze is spreading.
On Wednesday, the stock jumped as high as 93 percent to $61.82 per share before dropping down, leading trading on the New York Stock Exchange to be halted twice. They’ve risen by almost 450 percent in the last month.
On Wednesday, other “meme stocks” such as Bed Bath & Beyond and BlackBerry also saw significant rises.
According to Bloomberg data tracking businesses with market values more than $500 million, AMC was the most actively traded stock on US exchanges on Wednesday, while BlackBerry was the third most actively traded.
The rise in power of individual traders is garnering the attention of publicly traded firms and professional Wall Street investors, as evidenced by AMC’s new Investor Connect programme, which will include incentives such as invites to “special screenings.”
Retail investor trading jumped to record highs in the first two months of this year, fueled by message boards on the social media platform Reddit like r/WallStreetBets.
According to data from Piper Sandler, retail investors have flocked to the market in record numbers since the epidemic struck, with retail trading volumes more than doubling between 2019 and 2021, from less than 10% to more than 20%.
AMC was one of a number of notable winners. Amateur traders now make up a significant portion of the chain’s overall shareholder base, accounting for roughly 80% of the company’s stock. AMC announced on Wednesday that more than 3.2 million additional individual investors have purchased shares in the business by March 2021.
Big money has also gotten in on the action. On Tuesday, AMC said that it had sold 8.5 million additional shares to hedge fund Mudrick Capital Management for $27 each, a significant premium over AMC’s share price of $2 at the end of last year. Mudrick sold the shares hours later, after reports of the financing pushed them up to $33.53.
Other publicly traded corporations in the United States are debating how to best engage with the new generation of retail shareholders and their growing market power. During the pandemic, shareholder engagement events like as general meetings were shifted online, making it easier for common investors to participate and vote.
Lumi, the organiser of general meetings, claimed it had witnessed a considerable increase in retail shareholder engagement, with more people attending general meetings, asking questions, and voting. This has been exacerbated by easy-to-use brokerage services like Robinhood, which send out email reminders to shareholders about voting deadlines.
“Companies tell us that the demographic of persons who attend meetings varies. “It isn’t the tea and cookie crowd,” Lumi’s CEO Richard Taylor explained. “Once the hurdles to entry are removed, the demographic of those who can attend and ask questions shifts.”