Skip to content

CFDs are leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your deposits, so please consider our Risk Disclosure Notice and ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. CFDs are leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your deposits, so please consider our Risk Disclosure Notice and ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.

​​​​​Meme stocks hit the headlines again – what’s the broader impact?

​​Meme stocks like Gamestop and AMC are back in the headlines, but is it a reason to be worried about this market rally?​

Building Source: Getty Images

​​​What’s driving the move in meme stocks?

​Meme stocks like GameStop and AMC are soaring again, delighting retail investors but frustrating critics. GameStop shares have surged 340% over the last 10 trading days after posts from Keith Gill, the central figure of the 2021 meme stock frenzy. Other heavily shorted companies like AMC, Koss, and Tupperware have also rallied.

​While still below their 2021 peaks, the recent gains have inflicted heavy losses on short sellers betting against these stocks. Short interest in GameStop hit a 20-month high before the rally. However, there is little evidence yet of a major short squeeze driving the surge.

​Options trading has spiked, especially in bullish call options on GameStop and AMC. Retail trading activity has picked up notably but remains below 2021 "meme mania" levels.

​The moves highlight the continued force of the social media-driven retail trading phenomenon, allowing quick profits for some but concerning critics who view the valuations as disconnected from fundamentals.

​What does it mean for the broader market?

​Many investors will see the return of the meme stocks as a sign that this stock market is becoming frothy, driven by high expectations that are doomed to be disappointed.

​While meme stock volatility was previously seen as a warning sign of broader market risk-off sentiment, the recent surges in 2024 appear to signal a healthy appetite for risky investments.

​A key difference is that the current meme stock swings are being driven more by fundamental factors like earnings, rather than just social media frenzies as in the past.

​Looking at seven well-known "meme stocks" - GameStop, AMC, Carvana, Beyond Meat, Kodak, Palantir, and Coinbase - their clustered volatility spikes have at times preceded downturns in the S&P 500, such as during the 2022 bear market.

​However, since the October 2023 lows, the meme stock volatility does not seem to be a leading indicator for the broader market. Instead, it likely reflects a risk-on bull market environment where the rising tide is lifting meme stocks as well.

​Rather than being a contrary signal, the recent meme stock rallies appear to be an expression of investors' appetite for riskier plays in the current bull market upswing.

The information on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG Bank S.A. accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer.

Act on share opportunities today

Go long or short on thousands of international stocks with CFDs.

  • Get full exposure for a comparatively small deposit
  • Trade on spreads from just 0.1%
  • Get greater order book visibility with direct market access

See opportunity on a stock?

Try a risk-free trade in your demo account, and see whether you’re on to something.

  • Log in to your demo
  • Take your position
  • See whether your hunch pays off

See opportunity on a stock?

Don’t miss your chance – upgrade to a live account to take advantage.

  • Trade a huge range of popular stocks
  • Analyse and deal seamlessly on fast, intuitive charts
  • See and react to breaking news in-platform

See opportunity on a stock?

Don’t miss your chance. Log in to take your position.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.