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GameStop surges 30% to lead meme stock rally in otherwise boring market

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

Meme stock king GameStop rallied more than 30% on Tuesday as retail investors came back in full force despite an otherwise quiet market.

The videogame retailer surged as much as 36.5% to $225 apiece in heavy trading volume. More than 7 million shares have changed hands, more than tripling its 30-day average, according to FactSet.

Other meme stocks were also popping.

Shares of AMC Entertainment jumped 21%. The movie theater chain was the most active stock on Fidelity’s trading platform as of 2:30 p.m. ET, according to the broker’s website.

Clover Health climbed 10%. Bed Bath & Beyond rose more than 4%. Robinhood, which has also earned a meme stock status, advanced 9% Tuesday on no apparent news.

Outside of the group favored by retail investors, the stock market seemed to be dull with most investors eagerly awaiting a key Federal Reserve summit Thursday and Friday. The S&P 500 inched up 0.3% in afternoon trading.

Overall volume was light Tuesday with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF trading 24 million shares, about a third of its 30-day average, according to FactSet.

The Jackson Hole symposium is expected to be market-moving as central bankers could detail their plans for tapering monetary stimulus. The Fed has started discussions to pull back its minimum $120 billion a month bond-buying program by the end of this year.

The short interest in these meme stocks remained elevated. About 28% of AMC’s float shares are sold short, compared to an average of 5% short interest in a typical U.S. stock, according to S3 Partners. For GameStop, the short interest has declined drastically to about 10% from more than 100% in January at the height of the meme stock mania.

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