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Why Clover Health and Clean Energy Fuels Stocks Initially Popped While AMC Entertainment Flopped Today

What happened

WallStreetBets followers on Reddit seem to be moving on from the original meme stocks that started the retail trading frenzy earlier this year. Now new targets including Clover Health Investments (NASDAQ: CLOV) and Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: CLNE) are leading the way. Both companies' shares soared more than 30% early Wednesday. After a pullback, Clover Health shares were actually down 4% while Clean Energy Fuels were up 22% as of 11 a.m. EDT. Shares of former meme favorite AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE: AMC) were down 7% at that time.

So what

A resurgence in traders attempting to drive up prices, particularly on heavily shorted stocks, started last week. But new names on the list are taking over now. Clover Health shares rocketed up 86% on Tuesday in high-volume trading that saw it more than doubling at one point in the session. Today, trading volume on the stock is already more 500% above the two-month average. Similarly, Clean Energy Fuels' volume is almost seven times above average.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

AMC CEO Adam Aron has been engaging with the retail investors that have banded together to drive AMC shares higher. Last week he began pushing the idea of authorizing another 25 million shares to add to the pile of capital the company has raised as the story stock has moved up. Aron is embracing the moment and trying to take advantage to improve the company's flexibility. Shareholder votes on the proposal for the additional shares will begin June 16.

One aspect of the WallStreetBets names has been high short interest in the stocks. As of mid-May, AMC had about 19% of its public float sold short. Clover Health and Clean Energy Fuels had 36% and 8%, respectively, according to MarketWatch.

Investors shorting Clover Health were potentially spurred on by a report from short-seller Hindenburg Research in February. That helped increase short interest, and drove the share price down about 50% in the first months of 2021. But that situation is what the WallStreetBets traders are looking for. And though the stock reversed course mid-morning today, it is still up about 140% in the last five days.

Clean Energy Fuels doesn't have as high a short interest, but the renewable natural gas company also had a greater than 50% drop off 2021 highs. It's impossible to guess what specific stocks might pique the interest of the retail traders on the online forum, but they seem drawn to a combination of high short interest, a beaten down share price, and perhaps an interesting business itself. The traders may not be done with AMC, but it seems that a rotation in meme stocks is under way.

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Howard Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Clover Health Investments. The Motley Fool recommends Clean Energy Fuels. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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