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AMC surges 23%, leading meme stocks higher

AMC (AMC) shares surged as much as 23% to end the session 19% higher on Friday, as meme stocks rallied. AMC closed at $29.12 per share, reversing its recent slump trend.

The cinema chain announced its highest December night opening ever with a record 1.1 million people attending the premiere of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

“This was the single highest number of people watching one movie on one day at AMC’s U.S. theaters during all of calendar years 2020 and 2021,” according to a company statement.

The “apes” were winning against short-sellers during Friday’s session. AMC short interest is at $2.062 billon with 84.35 million shares shorted, according to data from S3 Partners.

“AMC shorts are down -$487 million in mark-to-market losses on today’s +23.60% intraday stock price surge,” S3 Partners’s Ihor Dusaniwsky told Yahoo Finance.

“Looks like Spider-Man and his strong domestic box office opening is catching short sellers along with his arch-villains in his web,” added Dusaniwsky.

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AMC’s blockbuster premiere follows a series of recent announcements related to the company’s expansion into NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. Last week CEO Adam Aron tweeted an NFT for shareholders.

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Friday’s rally positions AMC to end the week higher after a recent decline in meme stocks and other riskier assets. Concerns of the Omicron variant, a more hawkish Fed and recent insiders selling have contributed to prior pressure on the stock.

Shares of GameStop (GME) another retail trade favorite, closed almost 8% higher on Friday. Year-to-date GME is up more than 800% while AMC shares are up more than 1,340%.

Ines is a markets reporter covering stocks from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

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