Retail investors flocked back to some reliable favorites recently, one a longtime winning chip stock for the fast trading crowd and the other a marquee name in the 2021 meme mania. Since last Tuesday, retail investors have bought more than $212 million shares of Advanced Micro Devices and $199 million shares of movie theater chain AMC Entertainment , according to Vanda Research. For the amateur investors who purchased AMD in the past week, the stock is about flat since last Tuesday; however, shares of AMC Entertainment are up nearly 20% in the same period. Some of the AMD buying could be related to meme traders going back to their old tactic of targeting stocks with large short interest in order to spark a so-called short squeeze. CNBC Pro has learned that short interest is elevated for AMD partly because of merger arbitrage trading by hedge funds . AMD entered into an agreement with Xilinx in October 2020 to acquire the semiconductor company. Retail investors also purchased large holdings of Apple , Nvidia and Verizon since last week. "Purchases of NVDA and AMD have remained strong this week, surpassing inflows into all other FAANGM," Ben Onatibia, senior strategist at Vanda Research, told clients. "Meme stocks are in an ascending trajectory." Check out the full list here. In late August, retail investors were scooping up Chinese-listed companies despite a large crackdown in Beijing. Flows into Chinese ADRs have been slowing down as the rally consolidated, except for Alibaba, which had $131 million net purchases in the past week. Vaccine manufacturers also stole the show in August, but after a pullback in names like Pfizer and Moderna this week, retail investors stayed away. Shares of Pfizer are down 7% and shares of Moderna are down about 2% since last Tuesday. "Vaccine manufactures have suffered a severe correction this week and retail investors have shown little appetite to buy the dip so far," said Onatibia. Vinco Ventures appears to be a new target of the Reddit crowd. The stock experienced more than $56 million in net purchased since last Tuesday. In that time, the stock is up more than 200%. Nordstrom , Uber and Microsoft also appeared on Vanda Research's list this week.
An AMC theatre is pictured in Times Square in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, June 2, 2021.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
Retail investors flocked back to some reliable favorites recently, one a longtime winning chip stock for the fast trading crowd and the other a marquee name in the 2021 meme mania.