Investing

Midday Meme Stock Report for 10/18: AMC, Coinbase, Greenidge, Robinhood

Market indexes had moved out of the red at noon Monday, with the Dow Jones industrials beginning to trail lower. The energy (up 0.9%) and consumer cyclical sectors (up 0.7%) posted the biggest gains, while health care and utilities were both down by about 0.5%. The 10-year Treasury yields pulled back from an intra-day high of nearly 1.63%, and Bitcoin topped $62,000 again.

Speaking of Bitcoin, New York attorney general Letitia James has notified two unnamed cryptocurrency exchanges that they are violating state law because they are not registered with the state and must cease operations immediately. She also has demanded more information from three additional platforms. This is not the attorney general’s first whack at crypto exchanges. In February, she shut down Bitfinex, Tether and other related firms and fined them $18.5 million.

In a second whack at Bitcoin, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer last week asked the Environmental Protection Agency to review the clear air permit awarded to a utility company in upstate New York. That plant is now owned by bitcoin miner Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: GREE) and, according to Schumer, “has increased its recent emissions by tenfold, and that this is only likely to increase as Greenidge expands their [crypto] mining operations.”

Since Schumer’s press release, Greenidge stock has added about $4 to its share price. Most likely, that price increase is not due to Schumer’s lack of clout but to an increase of more than 55 million in outstanding shares. Some WallStreetBets investors were seeing big gains as more shares become available for short sellers.

The announced beginning of trading Tuesday morning in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF was keeping Bitcoin prices high and having different effects on different stocks. Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN) extended the gains it had posted in Monday’s premarket. The Bitcoin ETF does not trade actual Bitcoin but futures options in Bitcoin. Coinbase’s main business is trading actual Bitcoin, and the ETF will act as a tracker on the cryptocurrency. No harm, no foul.

Robinhood Markets Inc. (NASDAQ: HOOD) traded down as much as 1.8% in morning trading on very light volume. The new Bitcoin ETF is unlikely to have much impact on the company’s business because the fund does not trade actual Bitcoin and because Robinhood can trade any ETF for its customers, a Bitcoin ETF is just another equity. If demand for the ETF (and others like it that are likely to show up soon) should take off, that’s potentially good news for Robinhood, but not a game-changing scenario on its own.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) announced last week that it will show open caption movies at selected theaters around the country. Open captioning, unlike closed captioning, is integrated into the film, not layered on top of the original. The company didn’t say how many languages would be captioned but promised a viewing schedule for the films on its website and on its mobile app.

As the noon hour ended Monday, AMC stock traded up about 4.8% to $42.70, in a 52-week range of $1.91 to $72.62. The average daily trading volume on the stock is around 76 million shares, and thus far on Monday, 35.2 million had traded.

Robinhood stock traded down about 0.6%, at $40.80 in a 52-week range of $33.25 to $85.00. Trading volume was a light 2.1 million shares, compared to a daily average of nearly 18 million.

Shares of Greenidge traded up more than 4% to $25.25, in a 52-week range of $16.00 to $519.04 (adjusted for a reverse split). More than 3.3 million shares were traded on average daily, and about 1.9 million had already been traded on the day.

Coinbase traded up about 4.2%, at $292.45 in a 52-week range of $208 to $429.54. The average daily volume of around 4 million had been more than double to almost 8.5 million thus far on Monday.