By Thornton McEnery
The worst day for U.S. stocks so far this year saw all three major indexes in the deep red on Black Friday, but meme stock investors just saw a bad day for everyone else.
While the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.00% , S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.30% , and Nasdaq /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +2.19% all fell hard on a mercifully shortened trading day after the Thanksgiving holiday, many meme stock trading Apes on social media used the down day to reinforce their commitment to the tickers they love the most.
Black Friday is historically a strong day for retail and entertainment stocks, but both popular meme stocks — videogame retailer GameStop /zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite GME -0.43% , and theatre chain AMC Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/200235402/composite AMC -1.28% — closed down rather hard on the day, falling 5.4% and 3.2% respectively.
Those losses jibed with the wider market panic prompted by the news of the new omicron coronavirus variant , but you would have been hard-pressed to find real concern about the share prices on the diehard Ape corners of Reddit and Twitter .
“Sh!t . . . the virus is back . . . I better sell my GME!!!” joked Reddit user Nazereth_99. “NOT!!!!!” and added a vulgar salutation to Citadel founder Ken Griffin, who is widely-viewed as the personification of investors short GameStop stock.
That theory was pervasive, even if trading volume on GameStop was less than half its daily average.
“Market crash you say ?? I wonder how many GME shares Apes will be selling,” was the title of one popular post on subreddit r/Superstonk that answered itself with this .gif
“Same! I see red? I buy. I see green? I buy,” responded user GL_Levity. “Then I shove the shares up my ass so no one can have them.”
On Twitter, some saw the sudden panic as a chance for meme stocks to individuate and give GameStop a new edge.
For AMC Apes, the pullback was less steep, but the volume on the stock was even lower, prompting some Redditors to look for meaning in the red results.
“This massive 4am Black Friday ‘sell-off’ is in our favor, here’s why,” posited user Billy-BigBollox.
“The massive movement we’re seeing right now is possibly them liquidating ‘meme’ stocks they are long on to increase their capital,” they continued. “There’s also the possibility that they are doubling down and increasing their short positions. Either way, have the shorts closed their positions? If the answer is NO, then nothing has changed except I have another opportunity to add to my portfolio on a discount.”
Because of the shortened trading day, and the fact that many retail investors are now dealing in options on their meme trades, it’s hard for the Apes to not believe that the market digests the omicron variant threat and these two names coming roaring back on Monday.
After all, as one Redditor responded to a post on the markets panicking about the new COVID threat — and evincing the wider economy’s now opioid-level addiction to cheap money– “Na dude. The FED will pump it back with non existing money.”