MEME STOCKS - Meme stocks were one of the biggest boom-and-bust segments of the market throughout 2021. Meme stocks are a product of the rise of social media and online message boards. In 2021, groups of online investors focused their attention on stocks with large short positions. By piling into these stocks and driving the share prices higher, these groups of investors can trigger a short squeeze. This can create extraordinary stock price movements, as epitomized by AMC Entertainment and GameStop.
PANDEMIC PLAYS - So-called "stay-at-home" and "reopening plays'' were in vogue as vaccine distribution spread and case counts fell. The long-term outcome of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to be determined, meaning that either group could rise or fall in favor depending on the latest COVID-19 news. Stocks of companies like streaming services, food delivery businesses and video conference providers enjoyed major gains during the early days of the pandemic.
HOUSING - The typical price of a single-family home in 2021 was up over $50,000 from the prior year in 78% of surveyed markets. Record-low mortgage rates, the rise in remote workers and a glut of stimulus money were all contributors to the booming housing market of 2021. Stock market investors played the boom via home improvement stocks like Lowe's and Home Depot, up 55% and 53%, respectively.