Tuesday’s premarket trading was looking good for a while but dropped into the red before coming back a bit to trade roughly flat with about 90 minutes to go before the opening bell. The macro news was decidedly mixed: U.S. troops are out of Afghanistan, Chinese manufacturing growth slowed in August, some Democrats are urging President Biden to replace Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve chief, and, not least, damage to the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Ida.
Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) is among the most-mentioned stocks on the WallStreetBets subreddit nearly every day. The stock is firmly lodged in the top 10 over the past 30 days, according to Quiver Quantitative. What was weird Tuesday morning was that the stock traded up more than 3% in the premarket, despite two stories that should apparently weigh on the stock.
First, President Xi Xinping presided at a Monday meeting that approved new measures to rein in monopolies (among other things). Details are scarce, but Bloomberg reports that the meeting’s attendees “explicitly called for officials to ‘guide and urge companies to obey the leadership of the party.'” One of those companies is Alibaba.
A second weight appears to be a demand by the government body that supervises China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that the SOEs migrate from public cloud service providers like Alibaba and Huawei to state-owned cloud services by the end of September 2022. Alibaba has snared about 40% of the public cloud market.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) added more than 6% to its share price on Monday and traded up another 2% in Tuesday’s premarket. While AMC still commands a lot of interest among meme stock investors, the increase actually may reflect an improving business environment. People are going to the movies again. Even better, they’re paying more for the privilege. The average ticket price has risen in the first half of the year from $9.39 in 2020 to $10.48. Of course, the sky is not the limit here, but this is good news for AMC.
Shares of Support.com Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRT) added more than 38% to close at $36.39 on Monday. They traded up about 2% in Tuesday’s premarket as well. Nearly 73 million shares were traded Monday, more than five times the stock’s daily average volume. It is anyone’s guess when this rocket will burn up all its fuel, but that moment may be coming.
Investors in Vinco Ventures Inc. (NYSE: BBIG) may have benefited from a short squeeze on Monday. The stock price jumped by nearly 40% to post a new 52-week high of $10.00, before closing at $7.06. Shares traded down about 1.5% in Tuesday’s premarket. More than 21% of the company’s stock was sold short as of mid-August, and more than 320 million shares changed hands Monday, nearly 15 times the daily average.
Robinhood Markets Inc. (NASDAQ: HOOD), arguably not a meme stock, dropped nearly 7% on Monday following comments from U.S. Securities and Exchange Chair Gary Gensler that payment for order flow is “on the table” as an inherent conflict of interest.
Robinhood does not charge investors for trades but makes its money from payments from trading firms where the orders are sent to be completed. A conflict of interest may arise because receiving payments from order flow implies brokerages (like Robinhood) have an interest in encouraging more trades.
Robinhood’s stock traded down about 4% in Tuesday’s premarket.