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Gamestop, AMC Latest Stock Surge Costs $930M Loss For Short Sellers In A Week

Short sellers are estimated to have lost almost $930 million over the last five trading days following the latest surge in meme stocks GameStop Corp. GME 0.05% and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMC 0.07%, according to data from analytics firm Ortex.

What Happened: Video game retailer GameStop’s shares have surged by a third over the past week, while movie theater chain AMC Entertainment’s shares have gained 39% during the same period.

According to Ortex data, these price increases have resulted in short sellers — those betting for declines in the company’s shares — losing $503 million on AMC short positions over the past five trading days. Short sellers have also lost $426 million on GameStop short positions over the past five days.

About 21.8% of GameStop’s free float and 18.3% of AMC’s free float are held in short positions, indicating there is still plenty of room for retail investors to hurt the short sellers, Ortex noted.

Why It Matters: Shares of heavily shorted stocks such as GameStop and AMC have been popular among retail investors since early this year. Traders belonging to the Reddit investor forum r/WallStreetBets bid up these stocks to create a short squeeze in January this year.

The flurry of buying by retail investors forced bearish investors, including hedge funds, to unwind their bets against the stocks and sparked a rally in these stocks in January.

The Ortex data indicates that retail investors are once again showing interest in heavily shorted stocks and the hedge funds that hold those positions.

AMC Entertainment’s stock has returned year-to-date gains of 558.02%, while GameStop stock’s year-to-date returns stand at 858.60%.

Price Action: GameStop shares closed less than 0.1% higher in Tuesday’s regular trading session at $180.67 and added almost 0.2% in the after-hours session to $181.00.

AMC Entertainment shares closed almost 0.6% higher in Tuesday’s regular trading session at $14.03, but declined almost 0.8% in the after-hours session to $13.92.