GameStop Pumps 16% as SEC Chair Gensler Sidesteps Roaring Kitty Question

GameStop shares popped 16% to over $31 on Wednesday after Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was asked about Keith Gill.

Better known online as Roaring Kitty or DeepFuckingValue, the meme stock influencer was brought up by the hosts of CNBC’s Mad Money. Before they could finish asking a question about Gill’s online return, Gensler interrupted to address the show’s audience directly.

Describing the SEC as a cop on the beat, Gensler said the agency investigates the behavior of financial market participants as one might expect. But, “following the facts and the law,” he said the agency would only speak publicly about a matter if it was being brought before a court.

“Generally speaking, you have to make sure you don’t mislead the public, and that you don’t, in any way, do things in the markets that may be manipulative,” Gensler said, declining to say whether the SEC is currently scrutinizing Gill’s trading or online behavior.

Gill’s social media posts and recently purchased GameStop (GME) holdings have caught the attention of the SEC, as well as the securities regulator in Massachusetts.

Kicking off his online return with an image of a man leaning forward in a chair on Twitter last month, Mad Money host Jim Cramer posited that Gill could’ve been sending gamers a coded message.

“We know from video game playing, [that] means: come on, this is the ninth inning, get ready,” Cramer said. “Is this something, hypothetically, that the SEC should worry about?”

While solidly up for the day, GameStop shares exhibited some irregular trading activity. While the stock traded at around $29.10 on Wednesday afternoon, it dipped momentarily to $26.27, a 10% decrease that was quickly reversed in the midst of the trading day.

While Gill’s Twitter presence drew chatter on Wednesday, the meme stock influencer has recently resurfaced on Reddit too. Echoing his “YOLO updates” where he posted GameStop positions in 2021, Gill has posted his purported holdings on the platform twice so far this week.

Gill’s Reddit account, however, was silent on Tuesday. In his most recent post, a screengrab suggested that Gill owns $289 million in GameStop shares and call options. Overall, the positions shown had increased by over $85 million in value.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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