AMC Entertainment’s biggest gain since May as bets rise

(Bloomberg) — Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. The biggest gain in six months after investors rushed to bet up on the stock.

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The movie theater operator — one of the typical kids for the 2021 meme stock frenzy — spiked 27% on Thursday to $9.15, its biggest gain since May 12. Calls trading activity tripled the average over the past 20 days, with investors rushing to buy out-of-money contracts early this morning.

Calls expiring on Friday with strike prices of $8, $8.50 and $9 were the most actively traded AMC contracts on Thursday. All told, more than 550,000 calls were transacted as of 3 p.m. in New York, compared with a 20-day average of about 163,000. Shares closed at $7.23 on Wednesday.

Day traders also electrify social media chat rooms and message boards to tout stocks. Thursday’s rally comes as the “AMC” ticker symbol is trending on the popular Stocktwits trader chat room and it’s one of the most mentioned symbols on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum. . However, buying demand from retail traders is lackluster. Individuals on Fidelity’s platform were net sellers at 2pm in New York.

AMC Entertainment has attracted individual investors over the past two years as it seeks to fend off short sellers who bet the stock price will fall. Data from financial analysis firm S3 Partners shows that more than 20% of the AMC stock available for trading is currently being sold short. The stock is down 50% this year after gaining nearly 1,200% in 2021.

Other retail trader favorites also rose, with Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. up 13% and GameStop Corp. up 4.9%. The S&P 500 was up 0.1% at 3:09 p.m. New York time, while the Nasdaq 100 was up 0.4%.

–With support from Matt Turner.

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