Thursday, September 21, 2023

GameStop futures rally again. Should Investors Be Worried?

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This is the web version of the Bull Sheet, Fortune’s daily no BS in the markets newsletter. Sign up to receive it in your inbox here.

Hello, Bull Sheeters. US futures are in the green thanks to good results Amazon and Alphabet’s Google yesterday. But don’t look now: GameStop is up 11% in pre-release and up.

Why should you care about this hampered retail inventory? Because, over the past week, we’ve seen a pattern emerge: when memes fall, the rest of the market goes up, and vice versa. Can we break this pattern today?

Meanwhile, in Europe, investors were applauding the possible return of Super Mario to lead the EU’s third largest economy. It is a story that strikes close to home.

Let’s see what is moving the markets.

Market update


  • The mainAsia Indexare mixed in the afternoon trade, with Japan Nikkei high 1%.
  • Alibaba was almost down 4% wednesday at Hong Kong despite the e-commerce giant posting better-than-expected results at the close on Tuesday. FortuneNaomi Xu Elegant from explains why investors are so nervous on his future.
  • Kia Engines actions were standing as much as 14.5% in Seoul on a report that Apple would invest 4 trillion won ($ 3.6 billion) to co-develop electric vehicles. A similar rumor from Apple blew up Hyundia shares a few weeks ago.


  • The European scholarships were winning out of the gates with the Stoxx Europe 600 high 1% outdoors.
  • In a few hours, Italy may have a new prime minister, and that’s a familiar face: former ECB chief Mario Draghi. If you heard a cry of joy around 9:30 p.m. Rome time last night, it probably would have been my wife when we all learned about Mario “Everything that’s necessary“Draghi is probably the next man. Investors also applauded Super Mario this morning with Milan’s FTSE MIB in full swing 2.2% at one point. The euro is also on the rise.
  • 2 doses from Russia Satellite V vaccine has obtained promising results—91.6% efficiency—The Lancet a medical journal reported yesterday, presenting countries under COVID with a tantalizing new option.


  • American Futures have been higher all morning. It was after the major clues came together again on Monday.
  • Shares in Amazon are up in pre-market this morning after Jeff Bezosthe bombshell announcement of he will quit his position as CEO this summer.
  • The big mover this morning at the bell could be Alphabet Google, high 7.5% in pre-marketing after posting a big beat yesterday, helped by its cloud and digital advertising activities.

Somewhere else

  • Goldis flat, is exchanged $ 1,836 / ounce.
  • Thedollar is flat.
  • Grossis in place again, with Brent trading above $ 58 / barrel. Neither my wife nor I have been to the local gas station (gas station) in two months. Just say.
  • From 10 a.m. Rome time Bitcoinwas almost up 6% at $ 36,000.


Who supports you?

Older New Yorkers might remember the doomed startup Priceline WebHouse Club from the get-go, a grocery store business at your price (you can get cheap gasoline too) launched at the height of the crazy point – com days, late 1999. I was a huge fan. I could walk into my Gristedes neighborhood on 97th Street and fill my basket with Pop-Tarts, milk, etc. and, upon checkout, marvel at the savings. There was sort of a game show element: Would my grocery tab be cut in half today? A third?

This was the idea of ​​Priceline founder Jay S. Walker, and was backed by Prince Al Waleed of Saudi Arabia and the venture capital arm of Goldman Sachs.

In early 2000, I went to Walker’s Connecticut office to interview him about its operation and to get information on its plans for deployments across the country. The key, he told me, is the big food manufacturers. The assumption was that these household brands would subsidize my groceries in exchange for real-time data on the buying habits of shoppers like me.

Walker’s vision was to break the old rules of trade in the marketplace. It is the “tyranny of retail,” he told me, that must abide by the rules of the digital economy. I filled my notebook with good quotes from Walker and returned to Manhattan to write the article.

There was a problem with Walker’s story. He didn’t check. No one played ball, I quickly learned. I called all the brands I could think of: P&G, Johnson & johnson, Coke. None of them paid Walker a penny. (They were intrigued by the idea, I remember, but not enough to write him a check.) Goldman Sachs, the prince and other early WebHouse investors were the ones paying for my groceries, a delightful detail that we played big in an article I wrote for the deceased Industry standard. (Again, people of a certain age …)

The story of the rise and fall of WebHouse would be splashed over many front pages in 2000, a difficult year for technology investors. It would also be the subject of a good number of business school case studies. It became a symbol, like, of the many flawed business ideas of that era that still managed to raise massive amounts of start-up capital. To me, it became a symbol of the efforts VCs and investment funds would make to get into a lively dot-com early.

I remembered this story this week when news broke around Robinhood phoning his supporters, looking for over a billion dollars. The popular trading app needed an emergency cash injection to cover an increase in client transactions. The idea that VCs were ultimately footing the bill for a tsunami of commission-free transactions on GameStop and AMC Entertainment reminded me of those go-go-go days of 2000. It’s a delightful detail in a story. market that we’ll be talking about for years to come.

And, yes, you are right. There is really nothing new under the sun.


Have a very good day everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow… Until then, there’s more news below.

Bernhard Warner

As always, you can write tobullsheet@fortune.comor reply to this email with suggestions and comments.


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