GameStop frenzy leads to unrealistic expectations for returns


CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday questioned “are prices real” on Wall Street anymore, as he exasperatingly tried to explain GameStop‘s rally of as much as 175% over the past two days.

“I think the average American right now is trying to figure out how do I find a stock that triples,” Cramer said. “‘Forget what you guys are talking about with the FAANG. I want a triple.'” FAANG, an acronym coined by Cramer, stands for big tech stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet‘s Google.

“It is what people want. They want a triple. That’s not necessarily what we can provide,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Robinhood wants it. WallStreetBets wants it,” he added, referring to the online brokerage popular with young investors and the Reddit forum at the center of the GameStop saga.

Against the backdrop of the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, Cramer said incredulously that GameStop is “what’s gripping America” and the investing public.

The online-driven trading frenzy around the video game retailer ignited again Wednesday, when the stock doubled following the announcement of next month’s departure of Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell. The stock soared over 70% again Thursday at one stage before cutting the gain in half in volatile session.

Cramer said it seems unlikely that a CFO change could be the catalyst for such moves.

Ryan Cohen, a major GameStop investor and co-founder of online pet food retailer Chewy, and GameStop itself have been quiet during the outsized swings that began last month with a hedge fund short-squeeze around $20 per share, which sent the stock soaring 2,300% to as high as $483. GameStop crashed below $50 by mid-February before Wednesday’s spike.

Cohen did post a cryptic tweet Wednesday afternoon, and that had Cramer and the other “Squawk on the Street” hosts speculating on Thursday morning what it could possibly mean.



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