Short selling is a trading strategy based on speculation that a company’s stock will drop in price. If shares rise instead, the investors are forced to buy the shares, which drives their prices still higher in a development called a short squeeze
GameStop, a struggling mall-based retailer of video games, has been an attractive target for short sellers, but the stock has been rallying point for retail investors on Reddit, and its share prices have shot up as the short investors have been squeezed. After the closing bell today, GameStop’s market value was $13.5 billion or about the same value as the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys, and the New England Patriots, the three most valuable National Football League teams, combined.
The practice of squeezing out short sellers has now spread to several other companies like American Airlines and countries like South Korea, according to Bloomberg News.
The 10 companies with the highest short interest all have a market cap of less than $5 billion. AMC Theatres has already caught the attention of Reddit investors, but several of them are less well-known names in the pharmaceutical industry. One company just outside the top 10 is the media company Discovery, with a short interest of 36% and a market valuation of $18.7 billion, according to FactSet.