AMC Entertainment (AMC) stock is up 3.4% in Friday’s premarket just a day after authorities halted trading due to unusual volatility.
Thursday saw options volume three times higher than the 20-day average, and AMC stock leapt as much as 27% before trading was halted shortly before 12:30pm. Trading then recommenced with AMC’s share price closing up 13% at $8.17, its highest closing price since September 21.
AMC Entertainment stock got going early on Thursday and reached as high as a 27% gain before being halted. Authorities said about 46 million shares changed hands by that time compared to an average of 25 million. The AMC price action was led by option market activity. Retail traders and especially the much-maligned AMC Apes were furious with the trading halt.
Bloomberg reported that by 3pm, 550,000 call contracts representing 55 million shares had traded, while the 20-day average was 163,000. Activity was especially noted in the $8, $8.50 and $9 strike prices that are expiring this Friday. On Thursday these strikes saw more than 80,000, 63,000 and 71,000 call contracts trade by the close. The $10 strike also saw nearly 36,000 contracts trade as well. The $8 strike closed the session at $0.36 a share, and the $8.50 closed at $0.17 a share.
BNK Invest noted heightened activity last Tuesday as well, writing, “Looking at options trading activity among components of the Russell 3000 index, there is noteworthy activity today in AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (Symbol: AMC), where a total volume of 136,950 contracts has been traded thus far today, a contract volume which is representative of approximately 13.7 million underlying shares (given that every 1 contract represents 100 underlying shares). That number works out to 51.6% of AMC’s average daily trading volume over the past month, of 26.5 million shares.”
AMC Apes on Twitter have been badgering CEO Adam Aron about the APE equity unit price as it recently fell below $1. It closed Thursday up 1.1% at $0.9822, and is now trading up to $1.02 in Friday’s premarket.
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