Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Kayaks are being exhibited outside a store owned by Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. located in West Nyack, New York.
Dicks Sporting Goods shares gained 23 percent on Wednesday after exceeding first-quarter expectations – earnings forecast for the coming year, easing fears that arms purchase restrictions would weigh on sales.
Exercise would strain Dick's performance. Part of the big move on Wednesday probably had to do with hedge funds defending their shares against their stocks.
Nearly 15 percent of the company's stock available for trading was sold short, according to FactSet. A short squeeze occurs when investors who borrow the stock for a short sale are forced to buy it back as stock prices rise.
Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Dicks Sporting Goods incorrectly stated net income in the first quarter.