The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes ended a five-day winning streak on Thursday, with both closing down 0.6% for the day. The risk-off trading was compounded by relatively light volume, with just 638 million shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Only the real estate sector escaped a lower close Thursday, finishing up 0.1%. Energy led the losers, down 1.5%, and the tech sector closed down 0.6% for the day.
With one big exception, Thursday’s meme stock action was mostly on the downside, with trading volume, on average, lower than normal.
The exception was a share price gain of more than 41% for Support.com Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRT). The stock traded up for the fourth consecutive session, and Thursday’s gain was the largest of the bunch. Apparently, that was just a warm-up. Support.com’s stock traded up more than 170% (at $53.82) in Friday’s premarket after setting a new 52-week high of $19.99 Thursday. Shares jumped nearly 26% on Monday, 4.5% on Tuesday and nearly 20% on Wednesday. Thursday’s trading volume topped 100 million shares, more than 11 times the daily average of about 9 million.
What appears to be happening is a classic short squeeze. Support.com’s short interest as a percentage of its total float on the August 13 reporting date was 67%. The 52-week low is $1.62. A pending reverse merger with bitcoin miner Greenidge Generation Holdings also is helping push the share price up.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) was trading down just over 3% in the noon hour Thursday, and it ended up down 8.3% at the closing bell. Trading volume of around 109 million shares was well below the daily average of about 171 million. The company had no specific news Thursday, and the shares were trading down less than 1% in Friday’s premarket session at $40.15 after closing at $40.31.
Meta Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: MMAT) closed down 7% on Thursday, on trading volume of about a third the daily average of more than 25 million shares traded. As we noted in our midday report Thursday, the company filed a prospectus on Wednesday registering 191 million shares that were issued in connection with the Torchlight Energy reverse merger. These are not new shares, but some investors seem to be treating them as if they are. The stock was down less than 1% at $3.44 in Friday’s premarket after closing at $3.46 on Thursday.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) shares traded up nearly 5% at noon on Thursday, but afternoon trading pared the gain to 2.8% by the closing bell. Trading volume was about 20% higher than the daily average of around 5.3 million shares. The most recent news from the company came on Wednesday, when it said that second-quarter earnings would be reported after markets closed on Wednesday, September 8.
Senseonics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SENS) added 4.3% to its share price on Thursday to close at $3.88, on lower than average volume of about 17.6 million shares traded. The stock traded up 1.8% in Friday’s premarket. The company is developing and commercializing an implanted glucose monitoring device for people with diabetes. The stock was moving on no specific news, but shorted shares represent nearly 21% of the company’s total float. That’s far less Support.com’s short interest, but it might be enough to encourage some investors to find out if the short sellers can be squeezed.