Wall Street inches higher; meme stocks soar

Wall Street eked out minor gains Wednesday despite a big spike in meme stocks.

AMC Entertainment shares nearly doubling in just one day to a record high. Investors defiantly bought the stock even after a hedge fund flipped the shares for a profit. The theater chain operator is embracing the little guy - offering free popcorn to investors.

Another meme stock popular with the Reddit crowd, Bed Bath and Beyond, skyrocketed 62%. The home furnishing retailer said it would launch three new brands this quarter.

But overall, investors were cautious ahead of key jobs-related data out on Thursday and Friday, picking up shares in defensive sectors like real estate and utilities.

The Dow ended flat while the broader indexes inched a tenth of a percent higher.

Sanders Morris Harris CEO George Ball says traders are searching for a catalyst.

“They're bored. They’re burned out, and they are looking for a new set of inspiration and perspiration, and the markets really aren’t going any place in particular. They're looking for a trigger."

Also on the move Wednesday – pot stocks. Amazon lit a fire under the sector after the retailer said it supports proposed legislation that would legalize cannabis at the federal level. Sundial Growers shot up 13%; Aurora Cannabis added almost 8%.

Video Transcript

- Wall Street eked out minor gains Wednesday, despite a big spike in meme stocks. AMC Entertainment shares nearly doubling in just one day to a record high. Investors defiantly bought the stock even after a hedge fund flipped the shares for a profit. The theater chain operator is embracing the little guy, offering free popcorn to investors.

Another memes stock popular with the Reddit crowd, Bed Bath & Beyond, skyrocketed 62%. The home-furnishing retailer said it would launch three new brands this quarter.

But overall, investors were cautious ahead of key jobs-related data out on Thursday and Friday, picking up shares in defensive sectors like real estate and utilities. The Dow ended flat, while the broader indexes inched a tenth of a percent higher. Sanders Morris Harris CEO George Ball says traders are searching for a catalyst.

GEORGE BALL: They're bored. They're burned out. And they're looking for a new sense of inspiration or perspiration, and the markets really aren't going anyplace in particular. They're looking for a trigger.

- Also on the move Wednesday-- pot stocks. Amazon lit a fire under the sector after the retailer said it supports proposed legislation that would legalize cannabis at the federal level. Sundial Growers shot up 13%. Aurora Cannabis added almost 8%.