Meme stock resurgence: 'There doesn't seem to be much fundamental reason for the activity'

The renewed push higher in meme stocks this month is unlikely to be a carbon copy of the frenzied activity seen in early 2021, one strategist explained.

"That might have been a once-in-a-lifetime move with what we saw in the past," Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director at S3 Partners, said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). "What we're seeing is just reemergence of the meme stocks on different time periods, where you've got this retail base that's moving the stock up. Institutions are long and short [on] the names."

S3 Partners tracks short selling activity and the trading action in retail investor favorites such as Tesla, AMC, and GameStop. Without question, the meme stock trade has come back in force this month — though the community has argued on Twitter that it never went away to begin with.

"There doesn't seem to be much fundamental reason for the activity," Dusaniwsky stated. "I think it's a momentum type of move where you get a little of a move on the charts and more people start following and jumping in. We are also seeing short covering."

A person exits a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 29, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
A person exits a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 29, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

On Monday, the top 10 most actively traded stocks on Fidelity included AMC, Bed Bath & Beyond, and GameStop. Shares of AMC were the second most active on the platform behind the always volatile Tesla.

Bed Bath & Beyond stock spiked 10% in pre-market trading on Tuesday morning following a nearly 40% gain on Monday. Shares then tanked by more than 18% as of 2:29 p.m. ET during afternoon trading as Baird cut its rating on the stock to underperform.

Bed Bath & Beyond stock had surged 88% in August before Tuesday's session.

Bed Bath & Beyond spokesman Eric Mangan did not return Yahoo Finance's request for comment on the stock price movement.

A similar no-news push higher happened to GameStop stock, which fluctuated premarket on Tuesday following an 8.5% gain on Monday. GameStop shares were off by nearly 7% during afternoon trading.

As for AMC Entertainment, the cinema chain's stock was down more than 6% on Tuesday after an 8% increase on Monday following bullish comments by CEO Adam Aron on Yahoo Finance Live.

How long the spike in trading activity lasts for meme stocks is anyone's guess. But there is one constant that holds true for most meme names: shaky fundamentals could potentially lead to a lower stock price in the medium term.

"Following the volatility we've seen, it would behoove people to look at fundamentals," JP Morgan Private Bank Monica DiCenso warned on Yahoo Finance Live. "I struggle with some of these names to say why they should be up this much, so I am going to focus more on stories that I can be comfortable with longer-term rather than as a short-term trade for a day or week."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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