GameStop’s stock price headed for another explosive gain Thursday as rookie investors heralded the second wave of last month’s Reddit rally.
Shares in the video-game retailer surged 74 percent in premarket trading to $159.64 as of 7:14 a.m. after more than doubling Wednesday in a wild session that saw the stock halted less than 30 minutes before the closing bell.
It’s unclear what caused the sudden spike after about two weeks of muted trading for GameStop. But traders on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum celebrated the massive move in a stock that they turned into a symbol of a populist uprising against hedge funds and big-time investors.
“So I guess we’re back?” a Redditor named rgodless wrote on the message board early Thursday.
“ROUND 2! We’ve refuelled, and now we’re going to pluto,” another user named conciselouis posted on Wednesday, adding emojis of a rocket ship and two hands pressed together.
Other “meme stocks” that Reddit traders previously pumped up also surged in early trading. Shares of beleaguered cinema chain AMC Entertainment rose about 15 percent to $10.44 as of 7:16 a.m., while headphone maker Koss was recently up nearly 97 percent at $36.32 after climbing roughly 55 percent on Wednesday.
GameStop’s explosion came after the Texas-based company said chief financial officer James Bell would leave at the end of March. He was reportedly pushed out by board member and investor Ryan Cohen, the Chewy.com co-founder who some GameStop fans see as key to improving the company’s fortunes.
After Cohen tweeted a photo of a McDonald’s ice cream cone with a frog emoji on Wednesday, some online traders took the cryptic post as a sign that he was executing some grand turnaround plan.
“The frog is the long-used symbol of transition and change, from tadpole to frog,” one Reddit poster speculated.
Despite surging for the past two days, GameStop shares were still trading well below the peak of $483 they reached in late January as the Reddit-fueled market frenzy reached a fever pitch.
The unprecedented rally began as an online campaign against hedge funds that had bet against GameStop and other beaten-down companies and ended up attracting the attention of federal regulators and Congress.
Keith Gill, the retail trader known as “DeepF—ingValue” on Reddit who’s been credited with starting the GameStop surge, doubled down on his investment after testifying before the House Financial Services Committee last week.