Jefferies says these 20 heavily shorted and lightly traded stocks could see big jumps in the event of a GameStop-like squeeze

  • The Wall Street Bets subreddit has shaken market norms this week after a historic short squeeze.
  • Retail investors honed in on GameStop’s shares, inflating the price by as much as 1000% this week.
  • These are the 20 companies Jefferies thinks could be next targets for the day traders.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

This week was certainly one for the history books, as retail traders piled into small-cap stocks that hedge funds had bet against and the stratospheric price rises triggered multi-billion dollar losses for a number of big investment houses.

Now, with valuations of a number of small, and previously very unloved stocks soaring and ‘meme’ culture running laps around short-seller funds like Citron Research and Melvin Capital, Jefferies has compiled a list of 20 stocks that could end up being the next targets of the volatile tug of war between the big investors and the day traders.

Shares in video-gaming retailer GameStop saw retail investors push the company’s share price up as much as a 1000% at one point earlier this week, as casual traders on Reddit forums like r/wallstreetbets forced those hedge funds that had previously sold – or shorted – the stock to buy it back, no matter what the price, or at what loss.

Even the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and know for his disdain for short-sellers, heralded the traders, tweeting “Gamestonk” along with the link to the super-popular Reddit forum.

The actions of the day traders have certainly cost hedge funds and other institutions, with data provider Ortex estimating GameStop short-sellers are sitting on estimated losses of around $19 billion as of Friday.

Who could be next?

Obviously, for short sellers the worry is now which of their positions could be the next populist short squeeze, but for others the could present an opportunity to cash gains from these herd movements.

“In football, targeting gets you ejected, while in today’s market, some cheer you on,” strategists at Jefferies said in a note. “Picking on the shorts is nothing new.”

Jefferies notes retail investors, often using trading app Robinhood to trade, have been taking aim at heavily shorted small-cap stocks, which tend to lack liquidity and are therefore more prone to bigger price swings. 

This is the list of shorted small-cap stocks they think could be the next targets of the Reddit retail-trading army that and may see “more big moves” in the coming weeks – effectively getting “GameStopped”.


  • Ticker: FGEN.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Health care

Teradata Corp

  • Ticker: TDC.NYSE
  • Sector: Info Tech

Allogene Thera

  • Ticker: ALLO.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Health care


  • Ticker: GATX.NYSE
  • Sector: Industrials

Nektar Thera

  • Ticker: NKTR.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Health Care


  • Ticker: BLKB.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Info Tech

John Bean Tech

  • Ticker: JBT.NYSE
  • Sector: Industrials

Infinera Corp

  • Ticker: INFN.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Info Tech

Altair Engineering

  • Ticker: ALTR.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Info Tech

Hostess Brands

  • Ticker: TWNK.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Staples

Unisys Corp

  • Ticker: UIS.NYSE
  • Sector: Info Tech


  • Ticker: MD.NYSE
  • Sector: Health Care

National Vision

  • Ticker: EYE.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Discretionary

Waddell & Reed

  • Ticker: WDR.NYSE
  • Sector: Financials

Sleep Number

  • Ticker: SNDR.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Discretionary

TreeHouse Foods

  • Ticker: THS.NYSE
  • Sector: Staples

Pacira Biosciences

  • Ticker: PCRX.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Health Care

DMC Global

  • Ticker: BOOM.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Energy

Cardtronics PLC

  • Ticker: CATM.NASDAQ
  • Sector: Info Tech

Ormat Tech

  • Ticker: ORA.NYSE
  • Sector: Utilities

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