GameStop Soars for a Third Week as Retail Traders Trump Bears

GameStop Corp. wrapped up a third week of gains, with its shares nearly doubling after retail investors sparked a trading frenzy thanks to more news from Chewy Inc. founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen.

Friday’s advance pushed the video-game retailer’s weekly climb to 92% in a tumultuous week after the company tapped Cohen to helm its e-commerce business shift. The Grapevine, Texas-based company rose 1.7% to $264.50 as trading volume decelerated for a second day.

Trading was hectic, particularly on Wednesday when at one point the company challenged a January high before erasing nearly $200 in share price in about 20 minutes. Volatility eased on Thursday and Friday as volume dipped.

Analysts have rung alarm bells.

While Cohen brings much needed expertise to GameStop, it’s hard to see how that addresses the issues of its software business migrating to online networks, where it plays a limited role as an intermediary, said Bank of America analyst Curtis Nagle in a report published Friday. The company is still “very detached from fundamentals,” he added.

GameStop Soars for a Third Week as Retail Traders Trump Bears

Earlier this week, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter argued that Cohen’s latest push was expected and he didn’t see anything new in that announcement. Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, said the stock rally was based on expectations for future growth and not concrete results.

Others have credited the stock’s position as a “Reddit Raider favorite” to its continued rise. However, Eric Liu, the co-founder of Vanda Research, said buying from amateur traders is actually waning.

“We’ve actually seen retail interest in all of the classic WallStreetBets names decelerate considerably over the past few weeks,” he said. “As more and more retail investors poured into these WSB names in late January and throughout February, there are just fewer available dollars on the sidelines to add to exposure.”

That could all change this weekend with deposits of $1,400 to low- and middle-income Americans expected to start hitting bank accounts. That means rallies for GameStop and peers that have attracted retail investors could see another wave.

About half of individual investors between the ages of 25 and 34 will put 50% of their stimulus checks into the stock market, according to a survey by Deutsche Bank.

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