Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why AMC Stock Popped But Express and Alcoa Stocks Dropped This Week

By Rich Smith - Jun 18, 2021 at 12:11AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Reddit and its WallStreetBets were factors.

What happened

It was a tale of two Reddits on Wall Street this week: Meme-stock investors drove shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC -4.01%) ever higher -- up 22.9%. But they drove shares of Express (EXPR 3.81%) and Alcoa (AA -0.96%) into the basement, down 12.1% and 10.2%, respectively, through Thursday's close.

And that may be the real headline of the week. All of a sudden, it seems Alcoa is now a meme stock.

A zigzagging red arrow goes down as a green one goes up.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Don't just take it from me -- Bank of America itself made the declaration yesterday. It said Alcoa stock was briefly a favorite of momentum investors, but Alcoa "fell off the top-mentioned list this week," and this may be depressing enthusiasm for the shares.

More substantively, Reuters reported Thursday that China's National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration is preparing to "release metal in batches in near future," selling some of its aluminum and other reserves at below-market prices in an effort to lower production costs and salvage the profit margins of its producers. This promises to pressure aluminum prices at Alcoa -- and is yet another reason for investors to be avoiding the stock.

In contrast, AMC has been the beneficiary of good news -- both on Reddit and off. On Reddit, according to, Bank of America says that the movie-theater chain "remains the No. 1 most-discussed stock," boosting its popularity.

And off Reddit, AMC stock benefited from a credit rating upgrade late last week; this was followed Thursday by the beginning of voting on the company's anticipated sale of 25 million shares, which could raise as much as $1.5 billion in new cash to help offset the debt load that AMC accumulated during the pandemic.

Now what

Now, that still leaves the declining stock price of Express to address, and...I'm afraid there's not a whole lot I can tell you about that one. Bank of America was mum on why Express is falling, and there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of substantive news out on the wires this week. At the same time, there does seem to be a lot of frustration among traders venting on over the stock's failure to "move" higher in a timely fashion.

The stock's high short interest -- more than 9.5% of the float -- would seem to make Express a good candidate for a short squeeze. But the impatient nature of many momentum traders may simply cause Express to fall out of favor as traders seek easier prey.

Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.
$24.44 (-4.01%) $-1.02
Express, Inc. Stock Quote
Express, Inc.
$2.18 (3.81%) $0.08
Alcoa Corporation Stock Quote
Alcoa Corporation
$52.76 (-0.96%) $0.51

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/14/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.