They’re part of a flip-flop for the market’s leaderboard, as investments seen as the safest and most reliable earlier in the pandemic suddenly fell to the back of the pack.
The tumbling around within the market has sometimes been chaotic — witness the sudden surge for GameStop in January, as a band of smaller-pocketed investors pumped up the struggling video-game retailer’s stock to levels way beyond what analysts thought was rational. But to a casual observer, the shifting tides have remained mostly beneath the market’s surface.
The S&P 500 logged its mildest quarterly swing since the summer of 2019, even as prices for risky investments climb high enough to raise more alarm bells that a dangerous bubble may be forming. Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers of the first quarter:
BANKING ON A REVIVAL
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A Word About Short Selling: Don't
The fracas in January over a company called GameStop suddenly brought the practice of shorting stocks back into the public spotlight. GameStop sells video games via a network of thousands of retail outlets that have the anachronistic feel of Blockbuster stores. Business has soured, mainly because of online competition. GameStop scratched out a profit in fiscal 2017 (ending January 31, 2018), then lost money in the next two years and is estimated to have lost $680 million in the past 12 months.