Don’t expect people to use stimulus money to buy GameStop stock, analyst says

Investors expecting GameStop Inc.’s stock to get a boost as the latest government stimulus payments hit bank accounts will likely be disappointed, according to BofA Securities analyst Curtis Nagle.

Nagle wrote in a research note Friday that in collaboration with BofA’s predictive analytics group, he analyzed the potential impact on GameStop’s stock

from the $1,400 stimulus payments that are currently being made.

By looking at online forums such as Reddit, Nagle said previous sharp increases in the number of conversations involving stimulus and GameStop (GME) appeared to coincide with big stock price gains. But going forward, Nagle, who is bearish on GameStop shares, said he believes any positive effect from the “stimmies” has already been played out.

“[W]e believe the impact going forward may be limited given two factors,” Nagle wrote in a note to clients.

• “Conversations [sic] involving stimulus appear to have peaked and GME shares declined over the past few days.”

• “The number of recent conversations including both GME and stimulus is low.”

BofA Global Research, ListenFirst

Nagle also pointed out that GME trading volumes have also steadily declined and short interest has fallen “materially.” Nagle reiterated his underperform rating on the stock, and his price target of $10.

Trading volume has averaged 34.5 million shares per day in March through Thursday, after averaging 43.6 million shares per day in February and 66.4 million shares in January, according to a MarketWatch analysis of FactSet data.

FactSet, MarketWatch

And the latest available exchange data showed that short interest as a percentage of the public float was 26.1%, compared with over 100% when the Reddit-induced trading frenzy started in mid-January.

GameStop’s stock dropped 6.7% in morning trading, and have tumbled 29.1% this week. That puts the stock on track to snap a three-week win streak in which it rocketed 551.6%, which followed a three-week losing streak in which it plummeted 87.5%.

Don’t miss: Robinhood business model under fire at GameStop hearing in Congress.

Also read: The most frequently asked questions by Robinhood traders reveal ‘new type of uninformed equity-market participant.’

Rather than buying stocks, it looks increasingly likely that the current $1,400 stimulus payouts, and other disposable moneys, will be spent elsewhere.

Read more: Student loans, charity and pet bills — here’s what readers way they will do with their $1,400 stimulus checks.

“While we have not surveyed consumers on how much they intend to invest in the stock market going forward, in our latest Home Work survey, respondents plan to increase spending most over the next 12 months on activities that were restricted by COVID-19, including vacations, restaurants and travel, as well as home investing and decorating,” Nagle wrote.

Despite this week’s pullback, GameStop shares are still up 1,105.0% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 index

has edged up 5.4%.

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