AMC jumps 19% as funds eye bearish bets

FILE PHOTO: An AMC theatre is pictured amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

(Reuters) – Shares of AMC Entertainment and other “meme stocks” supported by small-time individual traders jumped on Monday, extending gains into a third week as message boards hummed with hype about the potential to squeeze Wall Street short-sellers.

Market participants have told Reuters that some Wall Street institutional investors are ramping up complex options trades that let them bet the shares will fall while keeping a lid on potential losses if they instead gain.

Cinema operator AMC Entertainment Holdings, which almost doubled in value again last week, rose 18.5%, while Microvision, a developer of laser beam scanning technology, climbed 7.1%.

Data shows AMC has been the top traded stock among clients of brokerages Fidelity and Freetrade, used heavily by amateur and individual investors playing with their own money.

On trading-focused social media site Stocktwits, message volume related to AMC – a barometer of interest in the stock – rose 3.3% on Monday.

Among other meme stocks, BlackBerry’s U.S. listing was up 8.6% and videogame retailer GameStop Corp and headphones maker KOSS rose 6.6% and 12.1%, respectively.

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