GameStop shares came under renewed pressure on Thursday, falling 19% to $75.18 in early trading as the video game seller continued to slide after a social media-driven frenzy drove its stock up nearly 2,000%.
— which on January 28 were riding high at $483 apiece — are down 84% over the last week. The plunge has lopped roughly $30 billion off the company’s market value.
The stock had soared in late January after amateur investors on Reddit discussion board WallStreetBets piled into the shares, with some traders declaring war on Wall Street hedge funds that had bet against the company. The forum has soared in popularity in the past week, swelling to 8 million members.
on Monday that the moderators of WallStreetBets had recently detected a “large amount” of bot activity in the stock-recommendation content being posted to its group.
The GameStop tumble followed a large reduction in short interest on the stock, which measures how many of the company’s shares have been borrowed to sell. Many had pointed to that previously high level of short interest, and the fact that hedge funds and others betting against the video game retailer had been squeezed, as a reason GameStop’s shares had soared.
The drop in GameStop shares could result in significant losses for some of the individual investors who had ridden the positive stock market suggestions posted on. Keith Gill, the Reddit trader who claimed he made tens of millions of dollars leading the push to invest in GameStop — l .
The share prices of other companies that have gotten boosterish mentions in WallStreetBets have also suffered steep drops. Shares of movie theater chain AMC Entertainment fell 12% on Thursday to $7.93. That stock, which also fell 40% on Tuesday, had been as high as $20 last week. BlackBerry’s shares, which had climbed to $28 last week, were $11.84.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yell will reportedly meet with securities and other financial regulators this week to discuss the GameStop mania. The acting chairwoman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Allison Herren Lee, told NPR on Monday that the stock market regulator is looking into different aspects of the sudden rise in GameStop shares, including whether brokers acted appropriately and whether there had been any market manipulation.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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