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Factbox: Mortgage dealers hop on Reddit-fueled short squeeze bandwagon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Mortgage dealers UWM Holdings Corp and Rocket Companies are the latest stocks to be targeted in a short squeeze trading storm.

FILE PHOTO: A banner celebrating Rocket Companies Inc., the parent company of U.S. mortgage lender Quicken Loans, IPO is seen on the front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Driven by online forums such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets, the phenomenon has raised concerns in recent weeks among short-sellers and regulators alike.

Here are some of the stocks involved in the initial frenzy and how they have fared since, as of Tuesday’s close:

** Shares of GameStop - which had been heavily touted on Reddit’s WallStreetBets - rose by as much as 2,460% on the year to a high of $482.25 in January, as some institutions that had bet on declines in the stock were forced to unwind their positions amid a flood of buying. The stock pared most of that rally earlier this month but remains 527% higher on the year.

** AMC Entertainment Holdings’ stock surged after the company said bankruptcy talks were “completely off the table.” At the rally’s apex, its shares touched $20.36, an 860% jump from Dec. 31. Tuesday’s closing price put the stock up 321% in 2021.

** Shares of Canada’s Blackberry rallied as much as 334% but had pared that to a 58% year-to-date advance as of Tuesday. The company announced late last month that it was expanding its partnership with China-based search platform Baidu Inc

** At one point, home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond’s had jumped by 204% year-to-date, but its advance has since cooled to 56%.

** Pharmaceutical firm CEL-SCI Corp shares hit a zenith of $40.77, a 247% advance on the year, a gain that has since shrunk to 59%.

** Finland-based Nokia joined the short squeeze stampede, at one point touching a 150% year-to-date gain at $9.79 per share. That advance was recently a more modest 3%.

** Consumer electronics company Koss Corp was also caught in the mania, soaring by 3,605% at one point. The stock is up 371% so far in 2021.

** Shares of cannabis companies - which have already notched big rallies on hopes of decriminalization under U.S. President Joe Biden - have been among the latest to experience wild fluctuations. Weekly volumes in cannabis stock options soared to an all-time high by Thursday, according to CBOE Global Markets, and U.S.-listed shares of Tilray Inc and Aphria Inc, along with Sundial Growers, were at one point up on the year by 711%, 367% and 736%, respectively. As of Tuesday’s close, they had gained between 174% and 214%.

** On Tuesday, Mortgage dealers UWM Holdings Corp and Rocket Companies gained 71% and 20%, respectively, despite a slew of recently canceled initial public offerings in the sector in recent weeks, which point to fears the housing market may have reached a peak. So far today, UWM Holdings is up 8.5%, while Rocket Companies is down 27.9%

Reporting by Stephen Culp; editing by Barbara Lewis

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