This meme stock bull cycle just isn’t like the other one

In this post:

  • Roaring Kitty returned to social media and triggered a surge in GME.
  • GameStop’s share price has risen over 100% in five weeks, allowing the company to raise $3 billion and boosting its valuation to $12.4 billion.
  • Higher interest rates and changing investor focus toward stocks like Nvidia have tempered the meme stock mania this time.

Five weeks ago, Keith Gill, the unserious man who calls himself Roaring Kitty, came out of hiding after three long years. And since then, financial markets have been fun! His comeback once again spotlighted GameStop, the video game retailer and poster child of the last meme stock bull cycle.

Keith Gill

In 2021, Keith changed Wall Street forever. Because of him, retail investors rushed to buy GME shares, sending the stock surging by over 2,000%. This surge brought other struggling businesses into the fold, creating a trading frenzy that defied traditional finance metrics, and flipped the middle finger to hedge funds all over America.

However, this time around, the drama hasn’t been as intense. Let’s discuss why.

Roaring Kitty is rich now

The one thing that makes this cycle wildly different from the other one is that our leading man isn’t worth $50,000 or even $50 million anymore. He’s worth nearly $500 million. In 2021, he live-streamed twice every week and was hyperactive on social media, especially Reddit, driven by his hunger for success and odd passion for GameStop. But let’s face it. The man is rich now. He is not as “one of us” as he used to be.

Related: Roaring Kitty makes an iconic comeback – GameStop is on fire!

Of course, this is just my speculation. I also think he just changed his strategy because Wall Street and GameStop did the same. So, it makes sense that the 2021 playbook will fall short of accommodating the 2024 bull cycle. The very first day Keith reappeared, it was through a cryptic post on X that showed the meme of a man leaning forward on a chair, and GME rose by over 50% in just a few hours. At one point, it even doubled.

This boost allowed GameStop to raise $3 billion by selling new shares, leading to a balance sheet so strong it forced Andrew Left of Citron Research, a well-known short seller, to withdraw his bets against GameStop. Now, the company is valued at $12.4 billion. Impressive, but still, it’s no 2021.

There were moments of excitement with stocks like AMC and BlackBerry, which were also popular during the 2021 craze. Trading volumes spiked briefly last month for these stocks. AMC’s shares have climbed 75% since RoaringKitty’s return, but they haven’t gotten the same level of frenzy. Neither AMC nor BlackBerry made it to Schwab’s list of the 25 most-traded stocks among millions of retail investors in May.

Related: Roaring Kitty’s New X Post Pushes GameStop Price by 300%

Higher interest rates have made borrowing money for speculation more expensive. Bullish investors are still around, as evidenced by the S&P 500’s recent record highs. However, their interests have shifted to other targets like Nvidia, which overtook GameStop to become Interactive’s most-traded stock this week. As of June 18, Nvidia is the most valuable company in the world.

Nvidia headquarters, California. Credits: Reuters

Roaring Kitty’s ambiguous strategy

One reason for the subdued response could be Keith’s ambiguity of strategy. In his highly anticipated YouTube livestream, he drank beer in a large glass and laughed as GameStop’s shares experienced a sharp sell-off right behind him. He expressed support for GameStop’s management, especially CEO Ryan Cohen, but didn’t get into it any longer. This lack of clear direction may be why the frenzy hasn’t spread as it did before.

Online interest in GameStop peaked during the company’s annual general meeting. The event attracted so much attention that it crashed and had to be postponed. Before the live stream, Keith revealed that his GameStop holdings had grown to just over 9 million shares, worth $262 million. According to LSEG data, this makes him the fourth-largest shareholder, with a 2.3% stake.

But still, the overall market sentiment is different now. Broader market conditions, including higher interest rates, have made speculative trading less appealing to retailers. Their focus has seemingly moved to other stocks with more perceived stability and growth potential. Or perhaps memes just aren’t as funny as they used to be.

One thing I know for sure? This isn’t just another retail bull cycle. It’s a different beast altogether.

Check out this hilarious viral video of CNBC when Keith frustrated them during the live stream:

Cryptopolitan reporting by Jai Hamid

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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