By Decrypt

The online return of Keith Gill, also known as Roaring Kitty, is moving markets once again.

The meme stock influencer, who rallied traders to bet big against Wall Street through GameStop in 2021, posted several positions in the video game retailer on Reddit this weekend. Pushing over $200 million in value, the purported exposure comprises shares and stock options.

The news kicked retail traders into an apparent frenzy. GameStop shares rose more than 70% during pre-market trading to $39.69 on Monday—nearly doubling the stock’s $23.14 close on Friday. The break-neck increase, according to Unusual Whales, was set to cause $993 million in losses for short sellers.

Short sellers are traders who bet that an asset’s price will drop. By borrowing an asset and selling it instantly, they hope to make a profit in the future by buying the asset back at a lower price and pocketing the difference. However, a jump in an asset’s price can derail short sellers’ bets if they’re forced buy an asset back at a higher price to close their position—sparking a so-called short squeeze.

GameStop shares popped last month after Gill’s account posted on Twitter (aka X) for the first time in years. Amid a string of cryptic posts, mostly centered around movie references, GameStop’s share price nearly tripled—spiking as high as $48.75 per share in a matter of days.

Already today, like the last time Roaring Kitty returned, there have been trading halts. On the Nasdaq, GME was halted a minute after markets opened because of volatility. A few minutes later AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC), which also trades on the Nasdaq and has become a meme stock in its own right, was halted for the same reason.

But it’s not been limited to those two so-called meme stocks. There’s been a wave of NYSE trading halts—most of them citing the limit up-limit down rule that’s meant to mitigate extreme market volatility. It’s not clear whether the broader trading halts are related to the GME trading frenzy.

The rally for GameStop’s stock, so far, pales in comparison to the historic short squeeze that lifted shares of the video game retailer as high as $120.75 in 2021. During that time, Gill was active in Reddit community WallStreetBets, where he posted routine updates on his trades.

Instead of the aforementioned group, Gill posted a “GME YOLO update” to the Reddit community Superstonk. The place became a go-to hangout for users to discuss GameStop after tensions arose in WallStreetBets with moderators over the stock’s frequent mentions in 2021.

GME YOLO update – June 2 2024 byu/DeepFuckingValue inSuperstonk

That sentiment was echoed on Monday within WallStreetBets as a moderator pointed users who wished to discuss GameStop in the direction of the “ape sub.” With over a million members, Reddit’s website showed that 15,000 users were viewing Superstonk, as of this writing.

Under the username DeepFuckingValue, Gill’s purported positions had netted the influencer $6.8 million in gains on paper. In addition to holding $65.7 million worth of call options for GameStop—betting the stock will rise—Gill’s account showed holdings of $116 million in shares.

“Guess who’s back,” one Reddit user commented, while another highlighted the unprecedented nature of Gill’s post within the Gamestop-specific community.

Though Gill’s online reappearance has stoked palpable interest in GameStop online, the endeavor hasn’t been up only. On Monday, when markets opened, the price of GameStop instantly shot down to $32.90. Still, stock has increased 87% in price over the past month.

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

Daily Debrief Newsletter

Start every day with the top news stories right now, plus original features, a podcast, videos and more.

Source: Decrypt