Stock Market

Hot stocks took on a whole new meaning during meme stock mania. The question now is: are meme stocks back?

It certainly looks like it judging by the way several securities have been trading in recent weeks. While some analysts and investors are labeling a slate of companies, primarily financial firms based in Hong Kong, the new hot stocks, others are ambivalent. They’re warning that retail investors are again executing short squeezes on vulnerable companies and implementing time-worn pump-and-dump schemes.

They worry that investors who scramble to get in on the action will be left empty-handed.

So, should you buy these new hot stocks that are skyrocketing in value or steer clear of them for fear that they will inevitably crash?

In this article, we endeavor to separate the wheat from the chaff and look at what is really going on with stocks whose run higher seems too good to be true. Here are answers to whether you should buy the following four hot stocks.

HKD AMTD Digital $192.18
AMTD AMTD IDEA Group $2.28
MEGL Magic Empire Global  $17.07
HLBZ Helbiz $1.42

AMTD Digital (HKD)

Source: Sittipong Phokawattana/Shutterstock

The only reason to buy AMTD Digital (NYSE:HKD) is in hopes that it again gets caught in a short squeeze that sends its price up more than 1,000% in a few weeks, but that is a risky proposition.

Right now it looks like the latest squeeze on HKD stock is over. Between July 15 and Aug. 2, AMTD Digital jumped from $16.21 to $1,679.00 per share. The best words to describe that kind of price movement are “shock” and “awe.”

However, since then the share price has plunged. Could the stock be squeezed again? Possibly. But there are no guarantees.

Beyond the spectacular increase in its stock price, things to know about AMTD Digital is that it is a financial technology (fintech) firm based in Hong Kong. It was founded in 2019 by a former investment banker and mainly provides financial services to institutional clients.

The sharp run-up in HKD stock occurred after AMTD Digital held its initial public offering (IPO) on July 15 of this year. The stock debuted on the New York Stock Exchange at $7.80 a share and retail investors quickly went crazy, executing a short squeeze on it.

Going forward, investors can continue to put money on AMTD Digital’s stock, or they could go ride a rollercoaster at their local amusement park.


Source: Joyseulay /

For investors who like to dabble in penny stocks, there is also Hong Kong-based AMTD IDEA Group (NYSE:AMTD). This is a sister company of the aforementioned AMTD Digital

Both companies were founded and are run by Calvin Choi, who previously worked in the investment banking division of Swiss bank UBS Group (NYSE:UBS). AMTD IDEA Group is a private equity and asset management firm that caters to a global client base.

AMTD stock went public in 2017 and since then it has traveled a rocky road on the stock market. After debuting near $50 a share, the stock has steadily eroded and is now down more than 90%, putting it deep into penny stock territory.

However, several times this year the share price of AMTD IDEA Group has been squeezed sharply higher. In February, the stock vaulted 80% higher before crashing back to earth, only to jump 104% higher in July, and 795% higher in early August.

Each time the stock has catapulted upwards, it has quickly come crashing back down to trade right around the $2 mark. Trying to time the volatility in this stock looks tricky.

Magic Empire Global (MEGL)

Source: PopTika / Shutterstock

Magic Empire Global (NASDAQ:MEGL) held its initial public offering on Aug. 5, and its share price promptly leapt 5,799%, jumping from $4 a share to a peak of $235.95.

Magic Empire Global sold five million shares to raise $20 million in proceeds from the IPO. Analysts have noted that Magic Empire Global, like AMTD Digital, has a low float of shares available to trade, which means it doesn’t take much buying to push the stock incredibly high, something retail investors appear to have taken advantage of.

But, as is the case with all the stocks on this list, the sharp run higher was short-lived. Within days of its IPO, MEGL stock was plummeting, falling more than 90% in only a few days.

The spectacular debut of Magic Empire Global was circumspect given that the company, which was founded in 2016, generated a profit of only $203,000 on revenue of a little more than $2 million.

In the investment banking pond, Magic Empire Global is a very small fish. And it looks like the stock is likely to continue trending lower now that retail investors appear to have abandoned it.

Helbiz (HLBZ)

Source: MarbellaStudio /

The lone company on this list that is not based in Hong Kong, Helbiz (NASDAQ:HLBZ) is a maker of electric scooters and is headquartered in New York City.

Helbiz went public a year ago via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and its stock was squeezed last September, pushing the share price up 575% to a peak of $41.88. However, since then, it’s been all downhill for HLBZ stock, which now trades in the depths of the penny stock league tables.

While HLBZ stock has been trending upwards since late July, rising 159% from 49 cents to $1.27, the stock is still down year to date and about 90% below where it was trading at 12-months ago.

In addition to Helbiz being a relatively small scooter business, the company is also embroiled in a shareholder lawsuit that is weighing down the share price. Irate shareholders who bought the company’s cryptocurrency called “HelbizCoin,” are suing and claiming they’ve been defrauded by the digital coin.

Given the volatility in the share price, the fact that it’s a penny stock, and the crypto lawsuit that is ongoing, investors may also want to take a pass on Helbiz. On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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