Heading into the July 4th holiday weekend, market action was predictably subdued, even though the S&P 500 reached a record high early Friday morning. The monthly employment situation report was not great, but good enough with a gain of 850,000 nonfarm jobs (good), but the labor force participation rate unchanged at 61.9% (not so good).
Among meme stocks, the biggest move so far on Friday a drop of nearly 9% in shares AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC). The drop appears to be the result of a new short position taken by Iceberg Research.
We are short $AMC. Fundamentals are obvious. After one month of trading sideways and lots of money lost in call options, the pump seems increasingly shaky.
— Iceberg Research (@IcebergResear) July 2, 2021
In reply to a comment inquiring about a full research report, Iceberg said, “The fundamentals are known. This was driven by call options but can’t last forever. We don’t accuse the company of fraud. There is a price for everything and we believe the pump has exceeded its average life.”
One commenter on Reddit remains undaunted on AMC’s prospects:
Today is probably gonna be a really red day before the 3 day weekend. Last time this happened. 🚀🚀 the week after. Hodl tight. I know you will. So many hands have been turning diamond. I LOVE IT
Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) traded down about 10% shortly after noon Friday. Including a drop of more than 9% on Tuesday and Wednesday, shares have lost more than 17% of their value in the past two and a half trading sessions. The good news for holders is stock is still up 46% for the past 30 days.
Clover Health Investments Corp. (NASDAQ: CLOV) traded down more than 6% in the noon hour Friday. For the year to date, the stock is down about 23%, even including a spike last month to nearly $29. For the second quarter, that spike carried the stock to a gain of some 76%. Friday’s decline is viewed by some as a buying opportunity.
And the day’s big winner thus far was Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SPCE). The stock traded up nearly 27% early Friday morning, following an announcement from Richard Branson that the company is moving up its next test flight to July 11 and that founder Richard Branson would be making the trip. That means Branson beats Jeff Bezos’s planned July 20 venture into space aboard a Blue Origin test flight. Because the battle of the billionaires doesn’t mean a thing for the share price of either Virgin Galactic or Amazon, the former’s stock price has made a quick round trip.
Virgin Galactic stock traded about 5% in the noon hour Friday, at around $45.35 in a 52-week range of $14.27 to $62.80. Nearly 90 million shares had traded thus far, more than triple the daily average of 28.5 million.
Clover Health traded down about 6.3% to $11.56, in a 52-week range of $6.31 to $28.85. The average daily trading volume of 56.7 million shares may be out of reach, with just 21.4 million shares traded thus far Friday.
Workhorse shares traded down about 10%, at $14.09 in a 52-week range of $7.07 to $42.96. About 12.3 million shares had traded thus far Friday, compared to an average daily volume of 19.3 million.
AMC’s stock traded down more than 9% in the noon hour, at $49.31 in a 52-week range of $1.91 to $72.62. The average daily trading volume is 156.6 million shares, and more than 58.5 million had been traded by Friday noon.