GameStop shares shot higher on Thursday after doubling in the previous session, triggering a series of New York Stock Exchange trading halts and leading a surprise resurgence of so-called “stonks” championed by passionate retail investors on various online forums.
GameStop shares hit $160 at the open before being halted after several minutes of trading and fell to around $129 before the second halt.
The stock resumed trading around 10 a.m. Eastern and soared again.
Other "meme stocks" that are popular on sites like Reddit's WallStreetBets were also up, even as the broader market fell sharply.
AMC Entertainment Holdings and headphone company Koss Corp both saw big jumps in their shares.
Analysts were puzzled by the new rally. Some ruled out a short squeeze like the one in January that battered hedge funds that had bet against GameStop and were forced to cover short positions when individual investors using Robinhood and other trading apps pushed the video game retailer’s stock as high as $483 dollars a share.
Todd Cipperman, founding principal of Cipperman Compliance Services says it's time for the government to step in, but that it should't be Congress:
"I would prefer the SEC [Securities and Exchanges Commission] do the regulation as opposed to Congress, because they're the expert in this. The whole point of the SEC is they're expert regulators. They know the markets, and they're in a better position to sort of analyze what happened and cut with a scalpel as opposed to with a chainsaw. So, I'm hoping the SEC steps in, and I'm hoping that'll be soon."
The surge comes days after Reddit trader Keith Gill, who runs the YouTube channel Roaring Kitty, doubled down on GameStop telling lawmakers in Congressional testimony last week: “I like the stock.”
His words have since been quoted by hundreds of his online followers and featured in memes on financial sites.