What happened

For meme stock investors on Thursday, generally speaking, their companies either notably underperformed the S&P 500 index or convincingly outpaced it.

In the former category, there's Tonix Pharmaceuticals (TNXP -8.16%) and electric vehicle (EV) battery specialist Microvast Holdings (MVST -4.00%) falling a respective 2.5% and 6.2%. Contrarily, AMC Entertainment (AMC -10.08%) and GameStop (GME -13.26%) rose by 4.8% and 2.5%, respectively.

So what

There was little fresh news and relatively muted social media chatter for the quartet on Thursday. Instead, trading activity seemed to be related to the most recent developments with (and around) these companies.

A person working on a laptop and desktop simultaneously.

Image source: Getty Images.

AMC's jump followed media reports that U.K.-based peer Cineworld Group is mulling a stock listing in the U.S. This shouldn't impact AMC directly, but perhaps it shows investors that the movie theater segment of the market is attractive and worthy of continued attention.

GameStop might have gotten a boost from a report in popular industry site Kotaku.com stating that a bundled and updated package of three vintage Grand Theft Auto video games could be released within months by Take-Two Interactive. This should drive GTA fans into the arms of the retailer.

Now what

As for the decliners, on Thursday new research indicated that hydrogen might be a dirtier alternative fuel than previously thought. Microvast specializes in EV technology, not hydrogen, but perhaps investors fear a pullback on the more speculative future-of-transportation stocks.

Tonix might be the victim of lingering disappointment; in publishing the results of its loss-making Q2 Monday, the company didn't report any surprisingly encouraging news about its pipeline drug and vaccine programs.