After weeks in the pits following the initial meme stock frenzy, GameStop stock surged again today, doubling to $91 a share in just a few hours. Why? Who knows. All I can tell you is that it happened shortly after GameStop board member Ryan Cohen tweeted out a picture of a McDonald’s ice cream cone.
Today at 1:57 p.m. ET, Cohen, the co-founder and former CEO of online pet food site Chewy.com who was named to GameStop’s board of directors at the start of the year, tweeted this image, complete with a frog emoji:
An hour later, GameStop stock trading, which has barely moved for the past week, exploded, climbing from under $50 to just over $90 fueled by extremely high volume, leading trading to be halted twice before the end of the day. After-hours trading has been just as volatile, and the WallStreetBest subreddit, one of the engines behind the entire GameStonk phenomenon, saw a bevy of new posts praising the rally. At the time of writing, the subreddit won’t even load.
CNN correlates the latest round of Wall Street absurdity with yesterday’s announcement that GameStop CFO Jim Bell would resign from the company. Some people on Twitter are musing that the jump is the result of whatever weird message Cohen was sending with his ice cream tweet. He bought up 9 million shares of GameStop stock back in December and is viewed by some of the company’s backers as the startup genius with the vision to transform the company’s ailing mall-based video game retail chain into a profitable online business.
I have no idea if he can, or if that’s even possible, but many on WallStreetBets, where he’s referred to as “Papa Cohen,” sure think so. That’s why it’s not completely out of the question that one of his esoteric tweets, which are very rare, might have the power to move the market on GameStop. Elon Musk’s sure seem to. Though it’s just as likely that today’s chaos is as driven by rich institutional investors as it is a bunch of Cohen groupies on Reddit.