Shares of Carvana Co. CVNA soared 20.8% in active afternoon trading Friday, enough to pace the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) gainers list. Trading volume swelled to 28.6 million shares, already well above the full-day average of 18.6 million. The last press release from the online used car marketplace was late Thursday, with the company saying it will report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 23, after the market closes. The stock had shown “meme”-like tendencies earlier this month, amid a relatively high short-interest position in the stock, and the company also adopted a shareholder rights plan (“poison pill”) to block investors for taking advantage of the stock’s weakness to buy up a large stake. Short interest, or bearish bets on the stock, represented 59.6% of the public float, or shares available for trading, according to the latest exchange data. That percentage is more than double that of original meme stocks, with GameStop Corp. GME at 23.5% and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMC at 22.6%. The stock has tumbled 45.9% over the past three months, while GameStop’s stock has lost 11.2%, AMC shares have shed 15.6% and the S&P 500 SPX has gained 7.3%.
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