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GameStop stock on a roller coaster once again as short interest drops

The halts from Wednesday. (TradeStation/Yahoo Finance)
The halts from Wednesday. (TradeStation/Yahoo Finance)

Once again, GME (GME) is taking investors on a wild ride.

The stock opened at $269 Wednesday morning before climbing steadily — in GameStop terms — to $347 just after noon. Reaching this apex, it plunged 43% to $198 in just over 30 minutes, before climbing back up to $257 an hour later.

Amid all the action, the stock was halted seven times between 12:22 pm and 1:12 pm.

While not as high as the 18 times GameStop was halted on Jan. 28, it represented another massive spike in GameStop's volatility.

Keith Gill, the original GameStop value investor of r/WallStreetBets, tracked the day’s ride in a series of gifs and videos from his Twitter account.

Though Gill is GameStop’s most famous investor, the positive price movement that began on Monday likely came from Ryan Cohen, the founder of who had previously taken a 10% interest in GameStop last September and joined the board in January before the stock’s first wild ride. On Wednesday news broke that Cohen would take a role at the company, taking over the reins of the e-commerce part of the business.

After Cohen’s prescient investment as well as personal history with founding and leading a wildly successful e-commerce brand, Chewy, investors jumped back into the “meme” stock.

GME short interest over the last 60 days (top) and last week (bottom). (S3 Partners)
GME short interest over the last 60 days (top) and last week (bottom). (S3 Partners)

Interestingly, the recent surge in GameStop shares has not coincided with an increase in short interest, as it did during the last episode in late January, according from data from S3 Partners. This current run is much different, lacking any sort of short squeeze behavior, either in the numbers or in the public narrative that previously saw short-selling hedge funds pitted against retail investors looking for revenge. (This narrative was false, hedge funds were on both sides of this trade.)

Speaking to Bloomberg Monday, Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director at analytics firm S3 Partners, said short sellers have lost $6 billion in 2021 so far on GameStop this year — $609 million on Monday alone.

This may be a reason why short interest dropped further by Wednesday, coinciding with higher GameStop prices. As the graph above shows, this is the lowest short interest in a long time.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance focusing on consumer issues, personal finance, retail, airlines, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.