Tag Archives: AMC

Short Sellers Down $81 Billion in 2023

Well, that was fast! With 2023 less than a month old, short sellers have already lost $81 billion.


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Many are running for the exits. From a new report from The Wall Street Journal:

Short sellers who have incurred hefty losses are actively trimming their positions, said Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of predictive analytics at S3 Partners. Investors betting against stocks have racked up $81 billion of mark-to-market losses on short positions this month through Thursday after accumulating $300 billion in gains in 2022, Mr. Dusaniwsky said.

Markets have rallied this year, with meme stocks leading the way. As short sellers race to close their positions, their losses are likely to grow:

Signs that inflation is cooling have stoked bets among investors that the Federal Reserve will pivot from raising interest rates to cutting them as soon as the second half of the year. That has helped risky assets across the board rise. Especially risky corners of the market, such as stocks with high short interest, have rallied even more. Analysts say that has likely forced short sellers to close out bearish positions to cut their losses—resulting in what is known on Wall Street as a short squeeze. 

Some of the most heavily shorted stocks have been among the best performers so far this year.

Meme stocks like AMC Entertainment Holdings, GameStop, and Bed Bath & Beyond are all up over 20%. The broader S&P 500 is up 6% for the year so far.

In addition to huge market losses, short sellers are also paying stratospheric interest rates to borrow shares. Rates to borrow AMC shares have ranged between 20% and over 100% per year in recent weeks.

It’s no wonder that some short sellers may be resorting to illegal tactics. There is evidence of widespread naked short selling in some heavily shorted stocks.

Common and preferred shares of AMC have seen millions of fails to deliver. These failed trades often occur when a short seller sells stock without borrowing it.

This is called naked short selling and it’s illegal under federal law. It’s also a powerful way to push down a stock’s price without paying any interest.

The coming months could push many short sellers to the brink.

A race to close out positions may cause heavily shorted stocks to rally further. Meanwhile, a more dovish Fed could cause a general market rally, adding to their losses.

Short sellers should avoid meme stocks like the plague. A heavily shorted stock with a passionate fan base is simply too hot to handle.

What do you think is next for short sellers? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on markets:

Major Hedge Fund Down 54% — Survival in Doubt

Citadel’s Illegal Trades — The Tip of the Iceberg?

As Fed Rates Peak, Are Markets Ready to Take Off?

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Photo: AMC CEO Adam Aron

New Report: AMC Fails to Deliver Hit 4.3 Million

Fails to deliver in shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings reached extraordinary levels in November. 4.3 million shares have failed to clear by November 14th, the latest data available.


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This new report, out today from the SEC, shows the highest levels of fails to deliver in months. This is particularly striking given the much lower fails to deliver in the largest stocks.

Let’s see how many fails to deliver some of the largest stocks in the market had on November 14th:

Amazon: 253

Apple: 0

Google: 0

Microsoft: 11,553

These companies are hundreds of times larger than AMC. But somehow, a little theater chain dwarfs them all in failed stock trades.

Fails to deliver can happen for benign reasons. But a long and persistent pattern of fails to deliver, as in AMC stock, can point to something more nefarious.

Huge numbers of failed trades can indicate naked short selling. This is the illegal practice of selling short shares you never borrowed.

It’s a potent way to crush a stock’s price. After all, if you don’t have to borrow a stock, you can sell short all you want!

Increasing failed trades may be related to higher borrowing costs for AMC shares. With fees going from 20% to up to 100% a year, borrowing shares is more expensive than ever.

It’s a lot cheaper to naked short sell. Unfortunately, it’s also against the law.

I urge the SEC to investigate the long term pattern of chaos in AMC shares. Only a full investigation can restore confidence in markets.

What do you think of this huge fails to deliver number? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

Today is the blog’s second birthday! Thank you guys for a great two years! 🙏

There’s a lot more to come!

More on markets:

Tiger Global Losing $185 Million a Day

Hedge Funds Lose Billions as FTX Implodes

Is SBF Headed to Prison?

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Latest Report: AMC Fails to Deliver Hit Over 2 Million

Fails to deliver in shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings have hit over 2 million shares, according to a new SEC report released this week.


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Failed trades peaked at 2,161,808 shares on September 28th. Fails to deliver remained elevated through the end of September, the last day covered in the report.

AMC’s new preferred shares, trading under the symbol APE, also saw large numbers of failed trades. They peaked on the same day, at 466,507 shares.

I find it suspicious that fails to deliver in both shares would peak at the exact same time. My hunch is that hedge funds launch coordinated attacks on both share classes at once.

One powerful weapon in their arsenal is naked short selling. This involves selling short shares you never borrowed.

Naked shorting is a powerful way to push down a stock’s price. If you never have to find shares to borrow or pay interest, you can short as many as you want!

Naked short sales often leave a trail of failed trades. You can’t settle a trade when the shares never existed.

Naked short selling is illegal in most circumstances. But why let that trouble you?

Another key piece of evidence is how out of line AMC’s fails to deliver are compared to much larger stocks. Here’s a snapshot from September 28th:

Alphabet (Google): 92

Amazon: 21,012

Apple: 11,083

Microsoft: 60,869

AMC: 2,161,808

APE: 466,507

These tech giants are hundreds of times the size of AMC. So why does AMC have dramatically more trades failing to clear?

Perhaps the tech giants are too big for hedge funds to attack.

Our markets rely on the confidence of investors. But it’s hard to maintain that confidence when stocks see huge numbers of failed trades and no one investigates.

What do you think of the chaotic market in AMC shares? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on markets:

New Report: Millions of Fails to Deliver in AMC and APE Shares

Tiger Global Down 52% — Losses Over $18 Billion

Hedge Fund Manager’s Arrest Shows How Market Manipulation Works

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New Report: Millions of Fails to Deliver in AMC and APE Shares

Fails to deliver in shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings reached the millions in the first half of September. The chaos hit both AMC and AMC Preferred Equity (APE) shares, according to a new report out today from the SEC.


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APE fails to deliver peaked at 2.4 million shares on September 1st. AMC fails to deliver peaked a week later on September 8th, at 2.2 million shares.

AMC shares have had large and persistent fails to deliver for over a year. It’s telling that as soon as APE shares were issued, huge fails to deliver appeared there as well.

Meanwhile, much larger companies continue to have almost no trades failing. Let’s take a look at fails to deliver in a few major stocks on Sept 1st:

Amazon: 0

Apple: 5,679

Microsoft: 0

Tesla: 14,727

APE: 2,366,422

And again a week later:

Amazon: 17,603

Apple: 523,020

Microsoft: 179

Tesla: 10,561

AMC: 2,164,802

Fails to deliver in AMC and APE are dramatically larger than in much bigger companies. Why are these shares in constant chaos while other companies are unaffected?

I suspect it’s because of naked short selling by hedge funds. This illegal practice involves selling short shares you never borrowed.

It’s a powerful weapon to crush a stock. If you never have to find shares to borrow, you can sell short any amount!

This can reach absurd levels. In August, we saw fails to deliver in APE shares exceed the entire daily trading volume.

The SEC must investigate what’s going on in AMC and APE shares. Until they do, it’s hard to believe the prices we see are real.

What do you think of the huge number of failed trades in these shares? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 👋

More on markets:

Over 43 Million APE Shares Fail to Deliver — Market in Chaos

Hedge Fund Manager’s Arrest Shows How Market Manipulation Works

Morgan Stanley Investigation Spreads to Multiple Countries

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Over 43 Million APE Shares Fail to Deliver — Market in Chaos

The market in AMC Entertainment Holdings Preferred Equity (APE) shares is a mess. Fails to deliver (FTDs) peaked at over 43 million shares last month, according to a report just out from the SEC.


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These new shares were issued last month by AMC and began trading on August 22. FTDs peaked at 43,438,257 shares two days later.

This represents over 8% of all shares outstanding. And it all happened in 3 days!

FTDs like this is beyond a mix-up. It’s a total market meltdown.

FTDs remained elevated through the end of the August reporting period. They settled at 5,635,854 on August 31, the last data available.

Let’s compare the FTDs on August 24th in APE shares with those of some of the biggest stocks in the market:

Amazon: 0

Apple: 395,929

Google: 113

Microsoft: 0

Tesla: 530

APE: 43,438,257

APE shares have dramatically more FTD’s than other, much larger stocks.

FTDs can sometimes happen for benign reasons, like clerical errors. But when there’s a sustained pattern of massive trade failures, it often indicates naked short selling.

This generally illegal practice involves selling short shares without borrowing them first. It’s a powerful way to push down a stock’s price.

If you don’t have to find shares to borrow or pay interest, you can sell short as many shares as you like! All that selling makes a stock’s price crater.

If naked short sellers are targeting APE, so far they seem to be winning. The stock is down 43% since its debut.

The NYSE and SEC must look into this market breakdown immediately. One in three trades failing is not a functional market.

What do you think of the huge FTD numbers in APE shares? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

Have a great weekend everyone!

More on markets:

AMC Fails to Deliver Pass 700,000 in New Report

Hedge Fund Manager’s Arrest Shows How Market Manipulation Works

Morgan Stanley Investigation Spreads to Multiple Countries

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New Index Will Drive Demand for AMC, Other Meme Stocks

Note: This is not financial advice.

Robinhood Markets is launching a new index fund to track meme stocks. From a report that broke this morning in The Wall Street Journal:


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Robinhood Markets is launching an index to track the favorite stocks of its millions of predominantly young, social-media-savvy customers.

The brokerage firm’s new “Robinhood Investor Index” will track the performance of the 100 investments most popular among its user base. Initially, the top five stocks in the index will be Tesla , Apple, Amazon.com, Ford Motor and meme-stock favorite AMC Entertainment Holdings. Robinhood said it would update the composition of the index monthly, offering a view into its customers’ changing tastes.

In an unusual approach to constructing an index, Robinhood said it would weight stocks in the index by the “conviction” customers have in them, defined as the percentage of assets in a customer’s portfolio devoted to a particular stock.

The new index will increase demand for meme stocks, especially those weighted heavily like AMC and Tesla.

When a stock is included in an index like the S&P 500 for the first time, the price generally jumps. This is because so many index funds track the S&P 500.

When a stock is added to it, those funds must buy the stock. Similarly, when investors buy shares of the new Robinhood index, Robinhood must buy stocks like Tesla, AMC, etc.

This increases demand for those stocks.

Indeed, a McKinsey study found that stocks added to the S&P 500 jumped a median of 5%. But the increase was short-lived, disappearing in just 20 days on average.

The effect of inclusion in the Robinhood index is likely to be more modest, given that $5.4 trillion tracks the S&P and the Robinhood index is just getting off the ground. Still, I expect a modest tailwind for meme stocks from this change.

The Robinhood index is an interesting approach. It allows investors to profit from the “wisdom of the crowd,” following investors who have strong conviction about particular stocks.

If an investor is confident enough to put their entire portfolio into a single stock, maybe they know something I don’t.

I’ll be curious to see how the Robinhood index does against other index funds. And you can bet every broker is rushing to create a meme index as we speak.

What do you think of Robinhood’s new meme stock index fund? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

Have a great weekend everybody! 👋

More on markets:

AMC Fails to Deliver Pass 700,000 in New Report

Morgan Stanley Investigation Spreads to Multiple Countries

Hedge Fund Manager’s Arrest Shows How Market Manipulation Works

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AMC Fails to Deliver Pass 700,000 in New Report

Note: This is not financial advice.

Fails to deliver in shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings hit massive levels this month.

Failed trades peaked at over 700,000 shares, according to a report out this morning from the SEC. They remained in six figure territory for all but two days in the period, which covers the first half of August.


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This many failed trades is highly unusual for most stocks. Let’s zoom in on August 8th and compare AMC with some of the largest stocks in the market:

Alphabet (Google):: 22

Amazon: 533,744

Apple: 379,843

Microsoft: 0

Tesla: 49,705

AMC: 723,636

Keep in mind, these other companies are dramatically larger. But month after month, little old AMC has far more failed trades.

Fails to deliver can happen for benign reasons, like administrative errors. But why would such errors affect this stock way more than others, time and time again?

The more likely explanation is naked short selling. This involves selling short shares you never actually borrowed.

It’s a powerful weapon to push down a stock’s price.

You don’t have to find any shares to borrow. And you don’t have to pay any interest to borrow them!

This means you can sell short an unlimited number of shares. Awesome, right?

It’s illegal for a hedge fund to do this. But that may not stop them, especially given lax enforcement.

But perhaps the most incredible thing is that 723,636 may understate the number of trades that are failing.

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) puts failed trades that don’t resolve for a long period into an “obligation warehouse.” At that point, they essentially disappear.

Earlier this month, over 9 million shares worth of failed trades in AMC stock suddenly vanished.

Maybe the DTCC were busy beavers cleaning it all up. Or maybe they just swept them under the rug.

We won’t know until the DTCC and SEC offer transparency on what happens to failed trades.

Something tells me we’ll be waiting a while.

What do you think of the new SEC report? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on markets:

AMC’s 9 Million Missing Shares

Morgan Stanley Investigation Spreads to Multiple Countries

Is Melvin’s Gabe Plotkin Headed to Prison?

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Photo: Melvin Capital founder Gabriel Plotkin

Why Hedge Funds May Pile into APE Shares

Note: This is not financial advice

This morning, new preferred shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings debuted on the New York Stock Exchange.


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Interestingly, the new shares (ticker symbol APE) have the same ownership interest and rights as normal AMC shares. But as I write this, they trade for $5.80, versus $10.52 for AMC shares.

The shares appear ripe for one of Wall Street’s favorite strategies: arbitrage.

If the two share types have the same economic value, they should trade at the same price. Hedge funds often buy an underpriced security while selling short an equivalent higher priced one.

The bet: the two prices will converge.

I expect hedge funds to buy APE shares while shorting AMC common stock. On paper the strategy makes sense, but there’s a little problem…

AMC shares are heavily shorted. 20% of the float has already been sold short.

If hedge funds continue shorting the stock, they become vulnerable to a short squeeze. Huge run-ups in shares of AMC, GameStop Corp. and others have bankrupted hedge funds before, such as Melvin Capital Management.

What’s more, both AMC and APE shares have passionate fanbases that can cause massive volatility. The human factor could cause a seemingly straightforward pairs trade to go very, very wrong.

Hedge funds should heed the lesson of Melvin Capital and avoid shorting volatile meme stocks. But as Benjamin Franklin said:

“Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it.”

How do you think hedge funds will react to the debut of APE shares? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on markets:

AMC’s 9 Million Missing Shares

Is Melvin’s Gabe Plotkin Headed to Prison?

Wall Street Banks Turn on Each Other as Federal Probe Looms

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AMC Shorts Take $653 Million Loss in August

It’s been a rough August. And it’s not over.

Short sellers in shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings have lost $653 million so far this month. From a new Bloomberg report:


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Investors betting against the most well-known meme stocks have lost about $1.65 billion this month after the shares soared in value, prompting a short squeeze.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.’s 47% rally has pushed mark-to-market losses for short-sellers to $653 million, S3 Partners data show. Similar bets against Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and GameStop Corp., which have surged 359% and 19%, respectively, in August, lost $1 billion combined.

Bets against meme stocks like AMC and GameStop blew up hedge fund Melvin Capital Management, among others. But like moths to the flame, short sellers seem drawn to losing more.

Many firms like Melvin heavily shorted multiple meme stocks. Rallies in several meme names at once multiplies their losses.

Shorting a heavily shorted company is a recipe for a short squeeze. Add a fanatical retail following, and disaster could strike at any moment.

The ideal short sale candidate is a failing company that isn’t heavily shorted. And you want something with no cult following.

Or better yet, follow the counsel of a hedge fund manager I had dinner with recently:

“Short selling is a great way to lose money.”

I guess some are learning. As for the rest, bon chance.

What do you think of short sellers recent losses? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on markets:

AMC’s 9 Million Missing Shares

Is Melvin’s Gabe Plotkin Headed to Prison?

Shorts Having Their Worst Month Since January 2021

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Is Melvin’s Gabe Plotkin Headed to Prison?

The SEC is investigating Melvin Capital Management for securities fraud. From a report that broke last night in The Wall Street Journal:


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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into Melvin Capital Management risk controls and investor disclosure after the hedge fund was crippled by the meme-stock rally last year, said people familiar with the matter.

The regulator has contacted investors in the hedge fund in recent months as part of an investigation into what Melvin founder Gabriel Plotkin and other senior executives told them following the meme-stock rally in January 2021 and whether it misled investors when it raised money last year.

If Plotkin and other top Melvin executives lied to investors in a fundraising presentation, they committed a very serious crime: securities fraud.

Securities fraud can be punishable by prison time, not to mention large fines. Of course, no one has proven anything yet against Plotkin or anyone at Melvin.

When Melvin raised money last year, it had already suffered massive losses. Its losses during the meme stock rally of January 2021 were $6.8 billion, or more than half its assets.

The worst days saw losses of over $1 billion. A day.

If you’re raising funds and fighting for survival in a situation like that, you might be tempted to stretch the truth.

We don’t yet know which fundraising presentations the SEC is looking into. But we do know that Melvin raised $2.75 billion last year from Citadel and Point72 Asset Management.

Did Melvin lie in those presentations in order to secure the bag?

When you rob mom and pop, it’s hard for the victim to fight back. But if you rob some of the richest and most sophisticated investors in the world, they can hire an army of lawyers to make your life very difficult.

This investigation comes on top of a DOJ probe into Melvin’s short sales. That investigation too could result in prison time for insider trading if wrongdoing is found.

In all, it’s not hard to see why Melvin shut down. It had lost a fortune, couldn’t get any more performance fees, and feds were circling.

I don’t know whether Melvin did anything wrong. But I do know that today, I’m glad I’m not Gabe Plotkin.

Do you think Melvin is guilty? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know.

Have a great weekend everyone! 👋

More on markets:

Melvin Capital Under Federal Investigation

The Real Reasons Melvin Is Shutting Down: No Fat Fees and a Federal Investigation

AMC’s 9 Million Missing Shares

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Photo: Melvin Capital founder Gabriel Plotkin