U.S. SEC says observing the market as “meme stocks” rally

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FILE PHOTO: The seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

(Reuters) – The Securities and Exchange Commission is observing markets and looking for any signs of misconduct and manipulation, the U.S watchdog said on Monday, as “meme stocks” including theater operator AMC Entertainment continued to gain.

Shares of AMC, supported by a pack of small-time individual traders jumped another 20% in morning trade, extending gains into a third week as message boards hummed with hype about the potential to squeeze Wall Street short-sellers.

“SEC staff continues to monitor the market in light of the ongoing volatility in certain stocks to determine if there have been any disruptions of the market, manipulative trading, or other misconduct,” a spokesperson for SEC said in a statement.

“In addition, we will act to protect retail investors if violations of federal securities laws are found.”

Reporting by Akanksha Rana and Katanga Johnson; editing by Patrick Graham