Short interest figures for the end of July were released after the close Monday, and we just sent our regular update of trends in short interest to clients. One table from the report is shown below and it lists the 25 stocks in the S&P 1500 that have more than one-quarter of their free floating shares sold short. Of the 25 stocks listed, GameStop (NYSE:GME) is the only member of the S&P 500. Of the remaining 24 stocks, seven are mid caps and 17 are small caps. In terms of sector distribution, Consumer Discretionary and Technology are the most heavily represented with seven stocks each. Meanwhile, Consumer Staples and Utilities are the only two sectors that are not represented.
For each stock listed, we have also included its performance since the start of August. Of the 25 names listed, 16 are up so far this month, while just nine are down. Overall, the average return of the stocks listed is a gain of 0.44% compared to a gain of 0.17% for the S&P 1500. Additionally, were it not for the 20% declines in ITT Educational (NYSE:ESI) and Rubicon Technology (NASDAQ:RBCN), the average performance would have been more than 3%! In prior posts on short interest, you may recall that the most heavily shorted stocks were underperforming the overall market by a wide margin, which was the perfect environment for short-sellers. So far this month, the short-sellers are facing a little bit of give back, but they have still had a great spring and up until now, a good summer.