GameStop investment a $31 billion game that hasn’t yet stopped.
The rag-tag army of retail investors who have been giving hedge funds a bloody nose by piling into United States games company GameStop held their nerve overnight on Friday.
GameStop shares closed up 68 per cent when trading closed on the New York Stock Exchange at 10am on Saturday, New Zealand time, meaning the bizarre investment drama will drag on next week.
Mostly young investors have been using a forum on popular social media site Reddit to encourage one another to buy and hold GameStop shares, pushing them massively above their underlying value.
This has caused huge paper losses and growing real pain for hedge funds and other professional investors who had been betting GameStop shares would fall by shorting the stock.
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Shares in the bricks-and-mortar games retailer closed up US$131 at US$325 on Saturday, valuing the firm which had previously been unloved by investors at US$22 billion (NZ$31b).
The volatility in its share price was huge, see-sawing in value between US$250 and US$413 during the eight-hour trading session.
GameStop shares are now worth more than 100 times their annual low of US$2.57.
Some Kiwi investors have joined in the punting, using low-fee sharebroking service Sharesies to buy shares in GameStop.
That is despite the widespread assumption that the shares will crash back down to earth soon when buyers try to beat a rush out the door to take their profits.
One Twitter user jokingly compared GameStop shares to Bitcoin, suggesting that like the controversial digital currency its shares had become a store of value that could continue to command prices unrelated to their intrinsic worth.
The trading aberration appears to have heightened concerns that stocks more generally may be close to a day of reckoning with the S&P 500 Index sitting more than 10 per cent up on its pre-Covid high last February.
The index fell 1.9 per cent to 3714 overnight on Friday as investors showed some jitters, setting up the NZX for a probable retreat on Monday.