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Short interest figures for the middle of October were released late last week, so in the table below we have listed the 36 stocks in the S&P 1500 that have at least 25% of their free-floating shares sold short. As shown in the table, the ten stocks with the highest short interest as a percentage of float are all from the S&P 600 small cap index. Overall, 22 of the 26 stocks on the list are small cap stocks, eleven are mid caps and just three are large caps (Cliffs Natural, US Steel, and JC Penney).

Finally, for each of the stocks listed below we have also included how they have performed so far this month. As shown, most of these stocks have been up in October as 24 of the 36 have gained, while just twelve have declined. The biggest winner has been JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK) with a gain of 55.11%, followed by ITT Educational (NYSE:ESI), and Outerwall (NASDAQ:OUTR). Of the 12 losers so far this month, Rubicon (NASDAQ:RBCN), Liquidity Services (NASDAQ:LQDT), and JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) are down the most. Even with these losers, though, the most heavily shorted stocks continue to outperform the overall market. So far this month, the average performance of the stocks listed is a gain of 5.1% through Friday, which is nearly 50 basis points ahead of the 4.61% return for the S&P 1500.

(click to enlarge)

Source: S&P 1500 Most Heavily Shorted Stocks