Meme stocks followed their old pattern to start the week, and by “old pattern” we mean total idiosyncrasy involving renewables and faded smiles.
Shares in GameStop /zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite GME -11.06% started off the week in the green despite a flurry of not-so-positive news around the stock. In addition to the Securities and Exchange Commission charging two traders for wash trading GameStop and other meme stocks , “The Big Short” investor-turned-GameStop mega-bull Michael Burry tweeted — then deleted — an acknowledgment that he had been subpoenaed by the SEC as part of its investigation into January’s manic short squeeze on the stock.
AMC Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/200235402/composite AMC -9.12% had a rougher case of “The Mondays,” as the theater chain’s shares finished down to start the week, possibly due in part to Disney /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS +1.60% Chief Executive Bob Chapek saying publicly on Friday that his company is no longer committing to exclusive theatrical releases after 2021.
A big recent trend for retail investors has been playing in the shorted and ever-deeper pool of green-energy stocks.
One new meme stock that is really enjoying the week so far is Clean Energy Fuels Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207288774/composite CLNE +2.10% , which closed up 13.7% after the heavily-shorted energy stock saw its volume of mentions on social media soar by almost 10,000% on Monday, according to HypeEquity.
Adding to the retail fervor was the fact that the CEO and president of the renewable-energy company, Andrew J. Littlefair, would be doing an “Ask Me Anything” interview with Redditors after the closing bell.
In announcing the event last week, Littlefair took a page from the allegorical management book of AMC CEO-turned-“King Silverback” Adam Aron , posting on a subreddit dedicated to CLNE stock that “I’ve really grown to appreciate this community. I read many of your posts and it’s obvious that you do your homework.”
On the flip side of that clean-energy equation was Canoo /zigman2/quotes/211334934/composite GOEV -5.94% . The EV maker had been feasting on retail investors’ attention going into the week, with shares up more than 38% between Wednesday and Friday, but fell almost 8% on Monday. In addition to retail investors starting to spread their interest to other EV stocks like Nio /zigman2/quotes/204905836/composite NIO -0.09% and Nikola /zigman2/quotes/208704275/composite NKLA -0.76% , social-media volume on Canoo was up more than 1,000% on the day. Most of the comments, however, included references to “Call” options and the stock being already “Bought.”
But why not end Monday with a smile?
Smile Direct Club /zigman2/quotes/214109287/composite SDC +2.10% ended up 4.75% on the day after taking it on the chin last week, when it fell more than 12%.
While action on the stock was up again, and there remained murmurs of an investment case that people stuck looking at themselves on Zoom meetings in their own homes are more eager than ever to get their teeth whitened, it appeared to many on Reddit that Smile Direct was up in large part due to spammers inundating the board with mentions and artificially boosting the stock price.
That thesis was backed up by a series of eerily similar posts boosting Smile Direct stock touting a bull case for the teledentistry outfit predicated mostly on buying into the stock now or “sucking a fat chode.”
In either case, there’s always Tuesday.