Has FOMO finally gotten a hold of you? Ready to jump into the meme stock trading revolution, and get your piece of the AMC or GameStop (GME) holdings? You’ll need a bit more information before getting started.
Some would say to look no further than the Stonk-O-Tracker, a website set up to track all the relevant data for the two most popular meme stocks on the market.
There has been debate over the accuracy of the tool, however – and like anything else, it shouldn’t be taken as a sure-fire way of making big returns. Below, we’ll look at what the Stonk-O-Tracker is, what it can tell us, and if it can mean more money in your pocket.
What is the Stonk-O-Tracker?
The Stonk-O-Tracker is a website set up by an unknown developer (likely a Redditor) who saw the need for a one-stop shop when it came to tracking data for AMC and GME. The site includes specific data that would be relevant to investors, mostly focusing on the current short positions in the market.
It includes various statistics, including the current NYSE price, the Short Sale Restriction (SSE) threshold, trading volume, up-to-the-minute borrowed ETF shares, and day-by-day option data.
Don’t worry – if that’s a bit over your head, we’ll explore how to read each statistic a bit further down.
Where did the Stonk-O-Tracker come from?
The easy answer to where the Stonk-O-Tracker came from is a retail trader looking to provide up-to-date information for two of the internet’s most-searched stocks. But why AMC and GME? That story goes back a little further.
In 2020, as retail investors became more and more prevalent with the advances of smartphone apps like Robinhood and WealthSimple, certain brands and companies started to gain cult-like status as potential market plays.
These companies, which included AMC and GameStop, were labelled “meme stocks” due to their popularity on social media platforms like Reddit, where amateur investors would often congregate to discuss their finds.
While most meme stocks have since faded into obscurity, AMC and GameStop have managed to maintain a high level of interest due in part to the involvement of high-profile investors like Elon Musk and Ryan Cohen.
These two stocks in particular caught the eye of the social media behemoth because of the short positions taken out by several hedge funds, essentially betting that the legacy media companies would fail.
GameStop, a video game retailer that had a nostalgic connection with many of the most prominent voices on the internet, and AMC, a movie theatre chain that had a similar connection, were two of the most shorted stocks on Wall Street.
Without going into every detail of how they emerged as perfect targets for the online mob to try and “fight back” – just look up investor Keith Gill, for more information – there suddenly was a massive need for up-to-the-minute information about AMC and GME.
That’s where the Stonk-O-Tracker (the first word being a slang term for stocks that emerged alongside the r/wallstreetbets Subreddit), comes in, to keep potential traders in the know.
How to read the Stonk-O-Tracker?
For the average investor, who has a trading account of around $1,500, and is not able to keep abreast of every trend or statistic, it can be hard to understand what the site is even tracking.
Before we go into detail, we should point out that there has been considerable debate over whether the Stonk-O-Tracker is always accurate, and even if it is, investors should try to get more than just a base-level understanding of the statistics before committing hefty sums.
Still, if you’ve visited the site, it might be hard to even know where to start. Let’s break down some of the key tables and explain what they are tracking.
Share price and SSR
The first thing you will see at the top of the page is three numbers. The first is the current New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) price and its change on the current trading day. On the right, is the price on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FRA), the largest exchange in Germany.
In the middle is a number marked SSR Trigger Price. This stands for Short Sale Restriction, a built-in trigger for the NYSE that restricts shorting if the price of the stock is already trending down on a current day. This threshold is 10% below the reference, which in turn is the closing price of the previous day.
For example, if AMC closed at $16 on Tuesday, and during Wednesday’s normal trading hours it dropped below $14.40, it would automatically be out on the SSR list, blocking shorting until the end of the following trading day. This can be helpful when dealing with incredibly volatile stocks.
The top-level page of the site also includes trading volume reports every 30 minutes, though minute-by-minute data is also available. This gives investors an idea of how much a given stock is being traded, and can be a valuable tool in spotting potential market movements.
For example, a sudden spike in trading volume might indicate that a stock is about to make a big move.
This table lists the number of shares available for short sellers. The middle number, which is based on data provided by Interactive Brokers, according to the site, offers a look at whether or not the stock is being heavily shorted at any one time. If the number starts to drop, it means the short positions are increasing.
This is where you can find data for calls and puts. It lists the expiry date for each contract, along with whether the option is In The Money (ITM) or Out of The Money (OTM).
To explain, a call is an agreement an investor makes that allows them to buy a share of stock at a set price, on a specific date in the future. If that date rolls around and the stock has risen above the agreed-upon price, the call would be considered ITM.
A put, on the other hand, is the opposite bet, that a stock will be worth less in the future than the agreed-upon price.
There are a few other tables on the site but those are rather self-explanatory, at least since the Dark Pool percentage has been removed. That data had attempted to approximate the number of shares moving in trades not accessible to the public.
Can you make money with the Stonk-O-Tracker?
Unlike the “buy the dip” meme, which pushes uninformed retail investors to drastically simplify their strategy, the information from Stonk-O-Tracker is meant to be taken in whatever manner a person wants. It can inform any kind of trade, and in that fashion, be a helpful tool for those looking to invest in AMC or GME.
However, it should not be taken as the sole source of information for anyone looking to make a substantial investment. If you do decide to take a self-directed approach to investing in stocks such as GME or AMC, I recommend reading further on the topic of SDIRAs—self-directed retirement accounts that allow you to invest on a tax-free or tax-deferred basis. Like always, before you risk any money on the stock market, make sure you can afford to lose it.