Most Short-Sellers Can't Catch a Break

Includes: IWB, SPY
by: Bespoke Investment Group

After waiting and waiting (and waiting some more), the equity market has recently given the bears its largest peak to trough pullback on the year. Given the new downward trend in stocks, things should finally be looking up for short-sellers. Unfortunately, though, they cannot seem to catch a break.

The table below lists the most heavily shorted stocks in the Russell 1000 (as a percent of float) as of the end of May. For each stock we also calculated its performance so far in June. As shown, the average stock in the table is down 0.93%, which is worse than the average return of all Russell 1000 stocks so far in June (-0.59%). However, were it not for one stock on the list -- Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT) -- the average return would be a gain of 0.62%. Granted, you can't pick and choose which stocks to use when looking at performance, but one would have thought that these stocks would be performing a lot worse given the overall market environment.

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