Reddit favorite GameStop (GME) isn’t looking so hot this week and some of the stock’s biggest backers are freaking out.
After selling off sharply all week, the stock fell another 42% Thursday.
“Stop f—ing selling GME,” is the title of a thread on the WallStreetBets forum, home of the Reddit army that boosted the gaming retailer’s stock price in recent weeks.
“We have the advantage. All we have to [do] is buy and hold shares,” wrote one of the users.
Robinhood briefly placed restrictions on trades in GameStop last week. Both Citadel the hedge fund and Citadel Securities have both denied any role in this decision.
Elsewhere on the forum, another said: “To any [hedge fund] plants in the sub trying to break [WallStreetBets]: F— you. I’m not selling. We’re not selling.”
The day traders chatting on Reddit who have propped up GameStop with their buying frenzy have inflicted serious pain on the hedge funds holding short positions in the company and betting the stock price would go down.
GameStop has fallen nearly 84% so far this week, although it is up almost 184% year-to-date.
Last week, the short squeeze forced hedge fund Melvin Capital to secure a more than $2 billion bailout from hedge fund Citadel to make ends meet. Making matters more confusing, Chicago-based Citadel Securities, a different entity owned by the same billionaire, Ken Griffin, is under scrutiny over its relationship with trading platform Robinhood that is popular with retail investors.
“Never forget that you were robbed by Citadel. They are, and will never be, your friend or a part of a healthy or just financial system,” wrote a Reddit user.
Robinhood briefly placed restrictions on trades in GameStop last week. The online brokerage cited soaring financial requirements by its clearinghouse, which is responsible for clearing the trades its users make on the platform, and had to raise billions of dollars to stopgap its clearinghouse deposits.
Both Citadel the hedge fund and Citadel Securities have denied any role in Robinhood’s decision to halt trading of certain stocks on its platform.
“Citadel Securities has not instructed or otherwise caused any brokerage firm to stop, suspend, or limit trading or otherwise refuse to do business,” the company said in a statement.
“Citadel is not involved in, or responsible for, any retail brokers’ decision to stop trading in any way,” a spokesperson for the hedge fund added.
Professional investors are also keeping tabs on Reddit: Thinknum Alternative Data provides clients with real-time data on stocks being talked up on Reddit to avoid another short squeeze-ageddon.
“Q4 earnings will pop us. The question is, are enough people going to be holding to combat the shorts to force another squeeze,” wrote one user.
The company’s fourth-quarter earnings aren’t due until March 25 — plenty of time for the stock to fall even more.
“I was told on my first day on Wall Street, ‘you have no friends on Wall Street, and if you’re told that you have friends, you’re wrong,'” Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, said’ digital live show Markets Now this week.
The next chapter of the GameStop Reddit saga could be all about regulation. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is holding a meeting with Wall Street watchdogs looking into the phenomenon. What steps those regulators will be willing or able to take remains to be seen.