At the beginning of 2023, some might have thought that the retail hype was going to slow down as GameStop Corp. (GME) and AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. both showcased wild and volatile rides, but mainly headed lower. However, as per our analytics, the retail crowd remained resilient and tried to find the next big short-squeeze as well as meme stock which could capture the interest of Reddit and Twitter.
Moreover, r/wsb added about 1m new subscribers in the past year, r/shortsqueeze also got about 30k new subscribers. While the short-squeeze narrative is not as prominent as before, many times, it came back and got bumped up to r/wsb or other places as retailers continue to search for the short-squeeze setups.
Here is our list of the top 50 stocks that were most popular among retail investors in 2023.
As you can see, GME is now nowhere near the top, and AMC is even lower. However, the "Magnificent 7" stocks have also been a magnificent retail investors favorite in 2023. All but Alphabet in top 10, as per our estimates of 2023 retail investors popularity, based on analysis of social media, such as reddit, X/Twitter, StockTwits.
AI, AI and more AI
One of the most prominent themes this year was the emergence of all things connected to artificial intelligence. This is visible in some of the top stocks.
Nvidia (NVDA) took the crown. The shares started to skyrocket at the beginning of the year and are now up over 230% year to date. Reddit threads are filled with many popular moments of the year such as r/wsb take on Jim Cramer’s recommendation. The pundit suggested shorting NVDA last year. Another popular thread was talking about how AI is actually investing in itself, given the automated trading algorithms available in the market.
NVDA also created somewhat of a hype in the semiconductor space. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) was closely following NVDA's popularity, and the two started to compete for the AI hype. Intel (INTC) might have been forgotten at the beginning, but it is now making a comeback.
The performance of all these stocks made it an easy selling point for retail investors to latch on any news concerning the industry. C3.ai (AI) was definitely included as well, but here, the story is similar to 2021/2022. Retailers were happy to buy up company with an AI ticker, but Kerrisdale Capital was not far away. The short-seller, with a habit of confronting retailers, was quick to issue warnings about the business. Eventually, the sentiment turned around, r/wsb got hit, and AI ticker is not really included in the chatter these days.
Another stock we would want to highlight is Palantir (PLTR). The business got loosely caught in the AI hype train, but PLTR also maintains their own strong community, which emerged during the heady retail days of 2021 and has not left since. The performance of PLTR helped as the shares are now up over 170% year to date. r/pltr has about 51k members and showcases posts with similar popularity to r/wsb.
Get most popular retail stocks. Track real time retail sentiment and retail popularity via our APIs and dashboards.
EVs - as usual
It would not be a post about retailers without mentioning Tesla (TSLA). The ultimate EV stock started to rebound at the beginning of the year and is now up over 130% year to date. This has fuelled the nonstop r/wsb threads about the business and about Elon Musk and all his ‘antics’ in 2023. While the chatter is somewhat less fanboyish, the sentiment is still positive.
EVs, in general, continued to be discussed heavily, and perhaps a notable stock is Nio (NIO). While it has a much smaller market cap of just about $13bn, the stock managed to retain a position in the Top 10, where stocks usually have over $100bn in market cap. It had a brief rally in 2023, only to fall and continue falling. NIO is now down 15% year to date, and the most popular Reddit thread talking about the stock is in the context of how TSLA killers are dropping. Despite that, it continues to be popular. r/NIO is similar in popularity to PLTR even though at a smaller scale.
Crypto Tickers: We are so back
Other than EV, there were other smaller pockets of interest in crypto, as we saw many developments this year. Coinbase (COIN) ended up being the 10th most popular retail stock as the business navigated regulatory changes in 2023. The popularity only grew towards the end of the year after a few alleged wins for the crypto space. COIN is up over 390% year to date but up over 100% since the end of October. Marathon (MARA) was also popular (30th most popular in 2023) as it became just another proxy for BTC movements. Interestingly, towards the end of the year, MARA even took over meme-crown from COIN and it started popping up higher in the popularity rankings.
A big chunk of the chatter about crypto, however, was taken by r/superstonk, which discussed the FTX collapse in detail. That subreddit was created during the GME events in 2021.
Trying Luck in Regional Banks
Another one-off was connected to banks. Retailers got all over the First Republic (FRC) story and tried their luck from both sides. The stock eventually went to zero. However, the most popular thread talking about the situation was connected again to Robinhood. While the broker did recover a bit of its reputation from the GME events, it again got into the spotlight after they apparently did not allow users to cash out from their FRC puts. This time, the reaction was a bit more muted as many suggested exiting the positions before the collapse.
Even though the retail community faced this and many volatile events, it somewhat stabilized in 2023. It is likely that the activity will continue to drive interest next year, and we are going to be here to track it.
FAQ | Q: Can I publish parts of the above data and analytics in an article? A: As long as you reference our work - yes, you can.
FAQ | Q: Could you provide more related data and analytics? A: Sure, contact us, and we'll try to help as soon as possible.
* Note: Presented data and analytics is as of available on 2023-12-22 UTC 12:00.
The services and any information provided by Breakout Point or on the Breakout Point website shall not be or construed to be any advice, guidance or recommendation to take, or not to take, any actions or decisions in relation to any investment, divestment or the purchase or sale of any assets, shares, participations or any securities of any kind. Any information obtained through Breakout Point and its services should never be used as a substitute for financial or other professional advice. Any decisions based on, or taken by use of, information obtained through Breakout Point and by its services are entirely at own risk.