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GameStop, AMC shares skyrocket after Roaring Kitty returns; Dave Portnoy pumps $1 million into market
Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

GameStop, AMC shares skyrocket after Roaring Kitty returns; Dave Portnoy pumps $1 million into market

Roaring Kitty returned after disappearing from public life for years.

A stock trader who goes by the name Roaring Kitty returned to the limelight, sparking a market frenzy around stocks that are considered meme stocks, which are seemingly propped up by the momentum of the internet.

Keith Patrick Gill, aka Roaring Kitty, was known for starting a firestorm in the meme stock category by encouraging a short squeeze on the GameStop (GME) stock in 2021 and then disappearing from the online community.

Gill returned by posting a meme on May 12, 2024, at 8 p.m., and by the next morning, the GameStop stock prices had once again soared.

The meme in question simply showed a person playing a video game and making a motion of leaning in, which is a metaphor for taking things seriously. A nearly identical meme was posted by GameStop in February 2024 with the caption "casual to competitive" on the image.

The morning of May 13, 2024, GameStop shares opened at around $21. Within 24 hours, they nearly quadrupled to around $80.

GME wasn't the only meme stock to see resurgence either.

'Every time I think I'm out they pull me back in!'

Movie theater AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (AMC) saw similar gains.

AMC opened May 13 at around $3.10, then also approximately quadrupled in 24 hours to over $12.50 per share.

Both of the brands were helped not only by the circulation of the meme and the many memes to follow but by Barstool Sports owner Dave Portnoy once again injecting himself into the fray.

"You wanna get nuts [Roaring Kitty] let's get nuts!" Portnoy wrote on X. "Every time I think I'm out they pull me back in!" he added.

"Breaking news, I can't f***ing miss a f***ing 50 year storm. You wanna f***ing party, let's f***ing party," Portnoy said in his breaking news video.

The sports brand operator then announced that he was buying $500,000 worth of AMC stock and $500,000 in GameStop stock.

"You wanna know who's on this ship? I'm on this f***ing ship. Let's f***ing go!" he added.

Both GameStop and AMC were seen as struggling and nearly extinct franchises in 2021 until Gill gained national attention for his remarks on GameStop. The meme stocks then took on a life of their own through Reddit.

Trading was pushed to its height through the Reddit group Wall Street Bets, along with Portnoy and Gill.

Portnoy even had a very public clash with the CEO of trading app Robinhood over the company's decision to stop trading on GameStop shares.

Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev went head to head with Portnoy on Fox News, with Tenev saying his company supports "the little guy."

"We're all about that," he added.

"You did something and gave a huge advantage to the big guy. That is the exact opposite of helping the little guy. You killed the little guy," the Barstool Sports founder came back.

Mainstream stock advisers warned casual traders about this latest trend.

Roaring Kitty "seems to be the most likely suspect for the renewed interest [in the stocks] but I would be careful not to characterize the participants in this phenomenon as investors," Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B Riley Wealth told Reuters.

Gill, on the other hand, has seemingly done nothing but post memes and movie clips since the stocks have once again become their own unpredictable entities.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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