What happened

Shares of GameStop (NYSE:GME) were jumping 7.5% higher in afternoon trading Tuesday on no news specific to the video game retailer, though the market in general was running higher on COVID-19 vaccine developments.

So what

The prospects of widely available vaccines got a big boost after the Food & Drug Administration said Moderna's (NASDAQ:MRNA) coronavirus therapy is "highly effective" and met all the requirements for emergency use. It follows the approval for use of the vaccine developed by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX).

Family playing video game at home.

Image source: Getty Images.

Vaccines greatly increase the hope the country can open up once more. This is particularly true for retailers that have been operating at minimal capacity requirements. GameStop, which has had to rely heavily upon its digital operations, would also benefit from an economy that was more open.

Now what

An analyst at NPD Group issued a report on Friday that said the video game upgrade cycle had industry sales soaring across the board.

Consumer spending jumped 35% in November, hitting a record $7 billion, with $1.4 billion on hardware alone, up 58% year over year, as the new game systems from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE) hit the market and quickly sold out in many stores.

With video game spending leaping higher, coupled with good news on the pandemic front, GameStop investors were feeling ebullient.