Retail investors were net sellers of AMC on Tuesday for the first time since February even as the stock surged 9%

AMC stock
  • Retail investors were net sellers of AMC stock on Tuesday for the first time since February, according to new data from Vanda Research.
  • That occurred on the same day AMC shares closed 9% higher.
  • Vanda attributes the upward price movement to buying by institutional investors.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Retail investors were net sellers of AMC Entertainment stock on Tuesday for the first time since February, even as shares climbed 9%, according to new data from Vanda Research.

The firm says the gains were instead driven by institutional investors.

“Many hedge funds are now trying to anticipate changes in retail sentiment and buy these stocks before mom and pop investors get involved,” Vanda analysts wrote.

The stock is now up more than 2,000% since the start of 2021.

AMC on Tuesday said more than 2 million people attended a movie at its theaters during Labor Day weekend, surpassing attendance for the same holiday weekend in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The firm noted a stark slowdown in retail purchases of AMC shares. According to Vanda’s data, day traders were buying more than $US1 ($AU1) billion per week during peak meme-stock rallies in January and June. But since the stock’s latest rally started in August, they’ve bought less than $US250 ($AU338) million.

AMC has been a day-trader favorite for months, attracting loads of posts on social-media sites like Reddit’s Wall Street Bets, StockTwits, and Twitter. Those retail investors have banded together on multiple occasions to squeeze the shares of heavily shorted companies higher.