Across most of America, GameStop is just a place to buy a video game. On Wall Street, though, it’s become a battleground where swarms of smaller investors see themselves making an epic stand against the 1%.
The funds serving the financial elite are starting to walk away in defeat. Big bets they made that GameStop’s stock would fall went wrong, leaving them facing billions of dollars in collective losses. All the wild action pushed GameStop’s stock as high as $380 on Wednesday, up from $18 just a few weeks ago.
The stunning seizure of power gives some validation to smaller-pocketed investors, many of whom are encouraging each other on Reddit and are trading stocks for the first time thanks to brokerages offering free-trading apps. It’s also left more investors on Wall Street asking if the stock market is in a dangerous bubble about to pop, as AMC Entertainment, Bed Bath & Beyond and other downtrodden stocks suddenly soar as well. The S&P 500 set a record high earlier this week, though it fell Wednesday.
Two investment firms that had placed bets for money-losing GameStop’s stock to fall have essentially thrown in the towel. One, Citron Research, acknowledged Wednesday in a YouTube video that it unwound the majority of its bet and took “a loss, 100%” to do so. But Andrew Left, who runs Citron, said that does not change his view that GameStop’s stock will eventually go down.