U.S. equities markets traded mixed in the noon hour Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrials and the S&P 500 were down slightly, and the Nasdaq traded up a bit. Just five of the 11 market sectors were trading higher, with communications services the top advancer with a gain of 0.7%. Consumer staples, down 1.1%, brought up the rear. Crude oil reached $73 a barrel in the morning, a gain of around a dollar, before easing back a bit. Bitcoin traded down by less than 1% at around $50,400, while 10-year Treasury note yields were up about four basis points at 1.52%.
The leading gainer among stocks on our meme stock watch list is Bakkt Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BKKT), a platform for buying, selling and holding digital assets. Since its initial public offering in an October SPAC merger, the stock has soared to a gain of around 320%, before dropping back to a post-IPO gain of around 44%. Shares traded up more than 20% Wednesday morning on no specific news, but a Yahoo Finance story on credit card giant Visa’s launch of a consulting service that will follow a similar business model may be driving the enthusiasm for Bakkt stock.
Another double-digit gainer was Paysafe Ltd. (NYSE: PSFE), a payment network based in Bermuda. After reporting quarterly earnings in mid-November, Paysafe shares dived more than 42% in a single day. The stock bounced higher by more than 17% Wednesday morning, following the company’s announcement that its CEO bought about $1 million worth of the company’s stock on the open market on Monday. Other executive officers and board members also have made open market purchases valued at around $1.8 million between November 12 and December 3.
Shares of GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) added about 6.5% on Tuesday but were trading flat in the noon hour Wednesday, ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings report due out after markets close. Even retail true believers in the stock are being cautious, waiting to hear from management about plans to grow, particularly online. If GameStop follows its recent pattern of holding a conference call that does not include a Q&A, a big sell-off may be in store. As for actual results, no one expects much.
Another OG meme stock, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) traded up more than 7% in the noon hour on no specific news. Given the big drop in the share price over the past month, (down 20%), another run at short sellers may be sending the stock higher. According to Fintel data, about 17% of AMC’s total float is sold short, and it takes nearly two days to cover the shorted total of around 87.5 million shares.
As the noon hour drew to a close Wednesday, AMC stock traded up about 6.5% to $33.05, in a 52-week range of $1.91 to $72.62. The average daily trading volume was around 44.7 million shares, and about 34.7 million had changed hands already on the day.
GameStop shares traded down about 0.7%, at $176.51 in a 52-week range of $12.14 to $483.00. The average daily trading volume is around 2.4 million shares, and about 1.3 million had traded so far Wednesday.
Paysafe stock traded up 16.6% to $4.25, in a 52-week range of $3.18 to $19.57. The average daily trading volume is about 14.6 million shares, and more than 20 million had already been traded.
After popping by more than 31%, shares of Bakkt traded at around $16.15, up more than 22%, in a post-IPO range of $8.00 to $50.80. The average daily trading volume is about 19.5 million shares, and around 7.1 million had traded.