What happened

Fueled by their successes with AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC) and GameStop (NYSE:GME), Reddit's growing army of individual traders are seeking new profit opportunities.

Here's how some of the stocks that have seen their mentions on Reddit rise fared today:

  1. The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO), up 38%.
  2. Root (NASDAQ:ROOT), up 19%.
  3. Invesco Mortgage Capital (NYSE:IVR), up 18%.
  4. Genius Brands (NASDAQ:GNUS), up 8%.
  5. Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), up 6%.

So what

Tilray has emerged as a powerhouse in the rapidly expanding cannabis market following its merger with rival marijuana producer Aphria in May. The combined company has the largest global geographic footprint in the industry, low-cost production facilities, and intriguing international growth opportunities. Tilray CEO Irwin Simon embraced Reddit's investors on Tuesday during an interview on CNBC, which likely helped to further ingratiate the company with the powerful WallStreetBets Reddit group. 

A person using a light stick points to several upwardly sloping lines on a stock chart.

Image source: Getty Images.

Meanwhile, Genius Brands announced on Tuesday that its stock was set to join the popular Russell 3000 and Russell 2000 indexes on June 28. When it does, managers of mutual funds that track these indexes will need to buy Genius Brands' shares, and these purchases could help to drive up its price, at least temporarily. 

There wasn't much in the way of company-specific news today for GEO Group, Root, and Invesco Mortgage Capital. However, the private prison operator, car insurance company, and real estate investment trust (REIT) are all heavily shorted stocks -- and Reddit's traders appear to be attempting to ignite short squeezes in them.

Now what 

By forcing short-sellers to close their positions -- which requires them to buy back the shares they shorted -- Reddit's traders hope to drive these stocks' prices higher. For today at least, they were largely successful. Short squeezes and social media-fueled stock promotion can drive massive rallies in stock prices like we've seen with GameStop and AMC. But they can also end without warning. Investors in GEO Group, Root, and Invesco Mortgage Capital should thus proceed with caution.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.