(Bloomberg) -- The recent resurgence in retail-trading favorites won’t let up anytime soon, says Jaime Rogozinski, founder of the popular chat forum WallStreetBets.
“Summer vacation is over, everyone is back in school and that’s when the activity gets to kick back up,” Rogozinski said in an interview with Bloomberg Markets.
The drivers are the same as they were in January 2021: relatively distressed, highly shorted companies are once again getting pushed higher by day trader enthusiasm. And the frenzy is likely to continue “as long as we don’t disable a buy button,” says Rogozinski, who no longer moderates the Reddit forum.
The renewed retail enthusiasm comes at a time when Wall Street professionals are just beginning to dip their toes back into the equity-market waters after 2022 saw sentiment cool. Amid investor debate about whether the market hit its nadir on June 16, meme stocks have been on the rebound. Day traders pushed AMC Entertainment Holdings up more than 50% in August and caused Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. to quintuple.
On Wednesday, shares of the home-good retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. spiked 23%, and are on track to extend the stock’s winning streak into the sixth day amid a flurry of mentions on popular chatrooms like WallStreetBets. Short interest in the stock reached $70 million or about 55% of the stock’s free float, according to S3 Partners data.
Rogozinski said he was surprised to see daytraders pile into the same-old meme stocks though he doesn’t expect the market to replicate the past. Hedge funds for one have shifted their approach and are now less public about their short positions.
As for the exchange-traded funds that track meme stocks, Rogozinski remains critical as the way they are hampered by regulatory constrains. “A meme stock comes and goes and it’s quick. An ETF has to restructure, rebalance, file for changes” by which time the meme stock rally is over, he said. “The concept behind these ETFs is good but the execution isn’t.”
For now Rogozinski is not buying the rally, not because he doesn’t believe in it he said, but because “you have to have a strategy around these very volatile moments. And I personally don’t have one yet.”
And it’s impossible to tell how long the retail mania will last. “People on WallStreetBets are probably aiming for the moon,” he said.
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