GameStop soars 100 percent as Reddit’s WallStreetBets board crashes

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The mother of all meme stocks is acting up again.

Shares in GameStop skyrocketed 103.9 percent on Wednesday, with almost all of that action bubbling up in the final hour of trading.

The bizarre rally resulted in shares of the video-game retailer being halted with less than 30 minutes to go before the closing bell — and Reddit crashing by 4 p.m. as onlookers rushed to the site to figure out what was going on.

“Wtf!!! How the hell does gme grow from 45$ to 110$ in a hours…. so glad I bought a few more at 43$,” one user wrote.

The frenzied buying resulted in shares of the video-game retailer closing up $46.74 a share to $91.71 and continued to rise after hours, recently up 59.2 percent to $146.00.

The rally follows an executive suite reshuffling Wednesday — and fresh rumors on Reddit of efforts by Wall Street to short the stock, or bet on its decline.

Shares in the Texas-based video game retailer started their climb earlier Wednesday after GameStop said chief financial officer James Bell would leave on March 26 after less than two years in the job.

The company didn’t explain why Bell was leaving, but hinted that the move could help supercharge its digital growth plans by saying GameStop has hired an executive search firm to help pick a successor who can “help accelerate GameStop’s transformation.”

Business Insider, meanwhile, reported that Bell was pushed out by Ryan Cohen, co-founder of Chewy, who made an investment in GameStop last year in an effort to help the company shift to more digital games as the industry moves online.  

Rumors on Reddit’s WallStreetBets trading forum of more short selling may have helped fuel the rally. Just after 2:30 p.m., a user posted that “1.4 million more GME shares have been borrowed today (so far). Hedge Funds are flooding the market with shorts.”

That post was later removed, but fellow Redditors had already begun to respond by posting memes of rocketships and “diamond hands,” which are how the WallStreetBets army signals to each other that they plan to plow into a stock.

Attacking Wall Street short sellers was a driving ethos behind the GameStop rally that sent the stock up more than 1,600 percent in a matter of weeks last month. And it worked to hurt large hedge fund like Melvin Capital, which lost a reported 53 percent last month.

The retail trading frenzy has become the subject of movie and book deals. It also resulted in hearings on Capital Hill last week with popular Redditors like Keith Gill using the forum to express continued confidence in the stock.

Gill — who goes by the name of “Roaring Kitty” on YouTube and “DeepF***ingValue” on Reddit — also sent GameStop shares soaring on Monday after he revealed he had doubled down on his investment one day after getting grilled by lawmakers.

On Wednesday Gill reacted to the rally by tweeting a gif of a man drumming and cat seemingly nodding to the beat of the drum.



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