By John McCrank
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Enthusiasm around "meme stocks" has eased for young investors a year on from the GameStop Corp trading frenzy, with Gen Z's attention shifting to companies in areas like electric vehicles and the "metaverse," according to a report released on Friday.
The top stock holding among the Gen Z cohort - people born after 1996 - in the fourth quarter was Tesla Inc, according to the quarterly investor outlook from Apex Fintech Solutions, which provides custody and clearing services for brokers like SoFi, Stash, WeBull, and Goldman Sachs Group's Marcus.
AMC Entertainment slipped from the No. 1 spot in the top 100 ranking of stocks for the first time in several quarters, to No. 3, said the report, which analyzed more than 1 million Gen Z accounts held by Apex's clearing arm.
GameStop, which retail investors piled in to last January in a social media-fueled attempt to punish short sellers, dropped five spots to No. 11, the report showed. Meme stocks with less mainstream buzz fell more, with e-commerce platform Wish's owner, ContextLogic, down 35 spots at No. 56 and biopharmaceutical company Ocugen Inc dropping 41 spots to No. 91.
Electric vehicle startup Rivian Automotive Inc, which went public in November, debuted at No. 44, while Chinese EV maker NIO held the No. 8 spot and Ford Motor Co was No. 19.
Shares of Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc rose a couple of notches to No. 12, while Roblox rose 36 spots to No. 36.
"There's a lot more interest in metaverse," Apex Chief Executive Officer Bill Capuzzi said in an interview. "As more NFT companies become public, we'll probably see them move in to the top 100."
The metaverse generally refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet, often making use of virtual reality or augmented reality.
Payment companies were also popular with young investors, with Paypal Inc jumping 9 spots from the third quarter to No. 19, while Block, formerly called Square, was steady at No. 25.
(Reporting by John McCrank in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)