What: Shares of daily deal merchant Groupon were flying off the shelves yesterday, climbing as much as 25%, on an essentially unexplained buying spree. Bloomberg reported the jump may have been a result of speculation of a buyout from Google.
So what: In what could be a short squeeze, meaning shorts have rushed to cover their positions, there were two high-volume spikes in Groupon shares yesterday. The first sent the stock up about 5% around 11 AM, and the second pushed it up 7% between 2:10 and 2:15 PM. Meanwhile, the stock had added smaller gains throughout the day. Options trading also was especially heavy yesterday, with more than 4,000 $4.50 December calls trading hands.
Now what: Yesterday's rally seems mostly driven by day traders looking to make a quick buck on one of the more volatile stocks in the market. Shares of Groupon had bottomed out a month ago, at $2.60, after another poor earnings report, but have battled back since then as a potential value play and on rumors that CEO Andrew Mason would be forced out. For long-term investors, yesterday's events should be ignored, because they are not representative of any change in the company's expected performance.
Fool contributor Dan Newman owns shares of eBay. Eric Bleeker has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook and Google and has the following options: long JAN 2014 $20.00 calls on Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend American Express, eBay, Facebook, and Google.