GameStop Stock Surges, Gets Halted For Volatility After Post From ‘Roaring Kitty’

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
2:16 PM – Monday, May 13, 2024

GameStop’s stock price increased by up to 110% on Monday following the unexpected return of “Roaring Kitty,” a day trader who was instrumental in the 2021 “meme stock rally” on social media.

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However, GameStop (GME) shares were temporarily halted from trading a number of times as well due to “volatility” on Monday morning.

This move put pressure on short sellers who had suffered a $1 billion loss as a result of the spike.

The person behind the viral meme, “Roaring Kitty,” whose real name is Keith Gill, 37, shared an image of a man leaning forward in his chair while clutching a game controller. The meme gave rise to rumors that Gill, who had not shared anything online in years, was making a comeback.

“The meme was viewed nearly 11 million times and received nearly 60,000 likes on X as of Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET. Gill did not include a caption or any other context,” according to The New York Post.

Gill—who was depicted by actor Paul Dano in the 2023 film “Dumb Money,” which touched on the meme-stock craze—posted a number of movie stills promoting his purported return.

For his fervent fans, Roaring Kitty’s posts are “like a match on dry tinder,” according to Peter Atwater, president of the consulting firm Financial Insights.

“It doesn’t take much, if the crowd descends, to push the price wickedly in one direction,” Atwater said. “If you were short this morning, you have had your face ripped off. This was not a morning to wake up short.”

GameStop, which has been dealing with declining sales for years, had a share price of $30 as of midday ET. Since the year’s beginning, the stock had increased by about 77%.

Since May 1st, GameStop’s short sellers have lost almost $1.12 billion, according per data from analytics firm S3 Partners.

“Squeeze-related buy-to-covers will be helping to push GME’s stock price higher – but also expect new short-sellers to jump into this trade as GME stock prices around or above the $30 level will be attractive entry points for new short-selling,” said S3 Partners managing director Ihor Dusaniwsky.

“Short sellers may be in for a bumpy and bloody ride in these stocks,” he added.

Due to the trading frenzy, there were many rumors on X (Twitter) that GameStop trades were not allowed on Robinhood, a retail trading platform. However, the app “has not shut down the purchase of GameStop shares,” according to a Robinhood representative.

“GME is seeing elevated volatility and movement, which by rule triggers the exchanges to impose market-wide trading limits and halts. These are market-wide and not specific to Robinhood,” a spokesperson stated.

Gill, a former employee of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, was a driving force behind the rush of retail traders who were buying stock in faltering companies like AMC and GameStop in an attempt to put pressure on short sellers.

Another meme-stock, AMC, had a 38% increase in share price to $4 in early trading.

The value of GameStop increased by about 2,000% in the first few months of 2021. During day trading that year, the stock reached an all-time high of $120.75.

In addition to going by Roaring Kitty, Gill used the username “DeepF—kingValue” in Reddit’s “Wall Street Bets” forum.

Reuters also reported that his GameStop stock was valued at around $48 million at its highest point.

Famously, the meme stock rise led to the downfall of Melvin Capital, an investment firm headed by investor Gabe Plotkin that suffered significant losses at that time.

Previously, Congress held hearings in February 2021 to evaluate the situation due to the heightened scrutiny around the pattern, and Gill was one of the featured witnesses.

“Social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and WallStreetBets on Reddit are leveling the playing field,” Gill said while testifying. “And in a year of quarantines and COVID, engaging with other investors on social media was a safe way to socialize. We had fun.”

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