GameStop shares climb in early deals, on track for second best week
(Reuters) - Shares of GameStop Corp rose 11% in early deals on Friday, as retail investors pushed up the stock in a renewed rally that could see it clock its second best week.
Options market activity in the stock, which has returned to the top of the list in a social media-driven retail trading frenzy, suggested investors were betting on higher prices or higher volatility, or both.
GameStop shares touched $120.60 and were on track to nearly triple this week in an equity market where falling bond prices have weakened general investor sentiment towards U.S. stocks.
Further support could come from holders of call options on the stock, as a big batch of those weekly contracts mature on Friday.
The stock is still some distance away from the $483 mark it hit in January, when individual investors using Robinhood and other trading apps drove a rally in its price, forcing many hedge funds that had bet against the video game retailer to cover short positions.
Refinitiv data on options showed retail investors have been buying deep out-of-the-money call options, which are options with contract prices to buy far higher than the current stock price.
Many of those option contracts are set to expire on Feb. 26, and would mean handsome gains for those betting on a further rise in GameStop's stock price.
Call options which would be profitable for holders if GameStop shares reach $200 and $800 this week have been particularly heavily traded, the data showed.
Meanwhile, GameStop's Frankfurt listing shed 21.3% to trade at 98.19 euros, in a move that almost entirely saw its value converge with that of the U.S.-listed stock, which added nearly a fifth in value on Thursday.
Other Reddit favorites such as cinema operator AMC Entertainment, headphone maker Koss and marijuana company Sundial Growers slid between 4.4% and 13.6% in trading before the bell.
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D'Silva)
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