GameStop traded up as much as 41% in afternoon trades with no official news from the firm. The move higher was likely an extension to news earlier in the week that activist investor Ryan Cohen would be leading an initiative to transform the video game retailer into a specialized e-commerce company.
But at around 12:20 a.m., selling in GameStop picked up and the stock plummeted as much as 51% from its intra-day high to $172. Amid the decline, the stock was hit with as many as 6 trading halts before shares recovered.
The $176 trading range in GameStop on Wednesday highlights the heightened volatility that has hit so-called meme stocks ever since Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum began to have an outsized influence on retail investors’ trading activity.
Another round of $1,400 stimulus checks might sustain the volatility in the meme-stocks given that a bulk of people said they would save or invest the funds rather than spend them, according to a recent Bank of America survey.
Shares of GameStop traded up about 2% as of 3:12 p.m.