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The meme trade has been resurfacing in recent weeks, but really picked up pace in the last few sessions, as retail favorite AMC Entertainment continues to make headlines. A 95% gain to $62/share on Wednesday - following four trading halts - left the movie theater chain with a market capitalization of $31.3B, making it more valuable than half of the companies in the S&P 500. That follows a 23% climb on Tuesday, a 200% advance in the last week and 3,600% return since the beginning of the year.  Much of the price gains have been attributed to swarm trading, as well as gamification, where traders pile into popular names, ignoring fundamentals, technicals and other catalysts.

 

It's becoming harder to find goods and services that haven't increased in price in recent months.  Case in point: Kimberly-Clark began June by raising prices on consumer goods by 4% to 9%, Scotts Miracle-Gro will follow suit this summer, and Procter & Gamble has said it will mark up prices in the fall. Price tags on appliances from Whirlpool and others have meanwhile risen by double-digit percentages from a year ago, while Costco is raising labels by 20% or more for beef and up to 10% for clothing. Restaurant costs are rising too - Chipotle just upped delivery prices by 4%.

 

Initial jobless claims fell below 400,000 for the first time since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Labor Department reported this morning.  First-time filings for unemployment benefits totaled 385,000 for the week ended May 29, a decline from the previous week’s 405,000 and below the Dow Jones estimate of 393,000.

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