Just about one year ago, a consumer chain lumbering its way toward business irrelevancy suddenly became the lodestar of a stock market craze.
GameStop, a a money-losing video- and computer-game retailer with 5,000 stores facing a bleak future as game-buying shifted from physical products to digital downloads, seemingly had nowhere to go but down. Short sellers had piled into its stock, betting that it was on a glide path to extinction.
Suddenly, in January 2021, the shares took off. On the first trading day of that year, they closed at $17.25. On Jan. 29, they closed at $325, a day after hitting an intraday peak of $483. On Monday, they fell $6.21 or 5.8%, to $100.15, their lowest level since Feb. 24, 2021.