Top 10 most traded tickers by retail traders in 2021

Howdy, traders! This year will remain as one of the major influences by retail investors on Wall Street, marked by the rally in so-called meme stocks that kicked off 2021 as investors banded together to fend off hedge funds shorting stocks like GameStop, AMC, and BlackBerry. But new data from Nasdaq's Retail Trading Activity Tracker, shows what stocks have really drawn retail traders' attention in 2021.  

Let's get closer to the data and check the Top 10 stocks purchased by retail investors during 2021. We will also supplement changes in shares' prices of these stocks with our alternative data metrics:

1. Apple ($AAPL)

Year-to-date performance: up 31%

$AAPL has been a safe place for retail traders during 2021. Apple's revenue grew 33% year over year in its fiscal 2021 - a 12-month period ending in September. And this growth would have been even faster if it weren't for supply constraints that led to billions in lost revenue over this period:

2. Tesla ($TSLA)

Year-to-date performance: up 23%

Delivery of Tesla cars has been on the rise this year but much focus lately has been on Twitter's favorite CEO Elon Musk who has been selling shares in a bid to reduce his tax liability.

It was a peak in $TSLA mentions on Reddit on November 15-18th:

And just after that, Tesla's stock price skyrocketed to more than $1200:

3. AMC Entertainment ($AMC)

Year-to-date performance: up 1300%

AMC has capitalized on its meme-stock status by offering perks to its army of retail traders known as "AMC apes."

$AMC got almost 5 times more website traffic in November 2021 compared to the same month of the previous year:

Same as for $TSLA, we can see a clear relationship with the number of stock's mentions on Reddit and its price. The $AMC has been actively discussed on May 23-27th:

And just after that, its price went up to more than $60:

4. Advanced Micro Devices ($AMD)

Year-to-date performance: up 47%

California-based semiconductor maker has been on the rise as big tech companies like Meta (On Nov. 8, AMD announced new specialized processors for different data-center workloads, and added Meta Platforms (FB) as a customer for its server chips), Microsoft, and Google buy up its chips, helping it compete with market leader Intel. By the end of November, AMD stock had produced the highest six-month gains of the past few years:

This stock was also popular among redditors in October-November:

On October 26, AMD reported better-than-expected third-quarter results and guided higher for the current quarter. On a year-over-year basis, AMD earnings jumped 78% while sales climbed 54%:

5. NVIDIA Corporation ($NVDA)

Year-to-date performance: up 121%

The maker of graphics processing units, or GPUs, for gaming has been consistently hyped on Reddit and Twitter this year:

Global supply-chain issues have pressured Nvidia's shares during the year but blowout earnings result for the GPU manufacturer in the second quarter have aided overall gains. The company has also broadcast its vision for the metaverse and other gaming-related projects.

In the third quarter, Nvidia earnings jumped 61% easily beating expectations, while sales surged 50%. Gaming chip revenue soared 42%. Data-center chip sales jumped 55%. Nvidia also purchased Mellanox last year.

6. Moderna, Inc. ($MRNA)

Year-to-date performance: up 140%

Moderna has posted major gains for two straight years. In 2020, investors bet on the biotech company's ability to bring a coronavirus vaccine to market, and they won. Moderna scored Emergency Use Authorization and finished the year with a 434% share gain. This year, Moderna shares have advanced another 192%. That's after the company reported billions of dollars in revenue and profit every quarter.

The company was also popular on Reddit and Twitter whole 2021 year:

7. Microsoft Corporation ($MSFT)

Year-to-date performance: up 50%

The software maker has been among big winners during the coronavirus pandemic, with its stock price rising on the success of its Azure cloud business and as people rely more heavily on its suite of services in the shift to remote work.

They also have been actively hiring people during the whole 2021 year:

Also, the company was actively discussed on Twitter this autumn due to announcing that Windows 11, the first major upgrade in years and the latest version of its popular operating system, would become available on Oct. 5, 2021; launching eight new products for its Surface device line; and agreeing to commission an independent human rights review of contracts with governments and law enforcement agencies:

8. Meta Platforms, Inc. ($FB)

Year-to-date performance: up 24%

$FB was also in a public eye over the recent months. On Oct. 28, 2021 Facebook announced it was changing its name to Meta, in order to represent its focus on metaverse-related projects.

9. Alibaba Group Holding Limited ($BABA)

Year-to-date performance: down 46%

Shares of Chinese retail heavyweight have taken a hit largely as the Chinese government imposed regulatory crackdowns on a range of industries and as founder Jack Ma has been under scrutiny in Beijing. $BABA stock was actively discussed on Reddit as well:

10. Amazon.com, Inc. ($AMZN)

Year-to-date performance: up 7%

$AMZN generates most of its revenue from its retail business, but most of its profits come from Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest cloud infrastructure platform in the world. It leverages its reputation as the huge gorilla of the e-commerce and cloud markets to expand into newer markets like streaming video, streaming music, and video games. Amazon Prime surpassed 200 million paid subscribers globally earlier this year.

We can discover a clear trend here - when a company announces loud news - it immediately gets lots of discussions on Reddit/Twitter, which directly affects its share's price.

How did you like these top 10 most traded companies? Do you have any of these stocks in your investment portfolio?

P.S: You can easily check other alternative data points for today's stocks (and any other US public companies) just by clicking on their tickers :)

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