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GameStop, AMC attracting a fraction of retail trader interest seen during 2021's meme mania

GameStop and AMC are seeing big buying from mom-and-pop investors, but the purchases pale in comparison to the meme stock explosion seen three years ago.

The video game seller and movie theater chain saw more than $15.8 million and $37.5 million, respectively, in net retail trader inflows on Monday, data from Vanda Research shows. But that is dwarfed by peak daily inflows of about $87.5 million for GameStop and $170 million for AMC seen in late January 2021.

The pair saw monster gains of more than 70% each on Monday following a series of cryptic posts on social media site X from "Roaring Kitty," who is known for helping create the epic meme stock squeeze that took Wall Street by storm three years ago. These marked the first posts on either X or Reddit from the user, whose legal name is Keith Gill, since 2021.

But expectations of a broader resurgence of the meme stock craze got hit with cold water on Tuesday, as the pair saw more muted — though still sizable — rallies. AMC and GameStop, along with other names associated with 2021's blitz including BlackBerry and Koss, fell from session highs as Tuesday's trading day went on.

Still, GameStop and AMC on Tuesday jumped more than 60% and 30%, respectively. Both have soared more than 100% week to date.

These rallies have happened despite concerns from investing professionals that these stocks are advancing without material catalysts. This resurgence of activity around this group of equities has already caused trouble for the investors shorting them.