4 Rallying S&P 500 Stocks With Bearish Short Trends

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Includes: AIV, BIG, ECL, SHLD
by: Kapitall

Stocks that exhibit conflicting sentiment from different groups of investors often deserve a closer look. We ran a screen on stocks of the S&P 500 that are rallying above their 20-day, 50-day, and 200-day moving averages for those that have seen negative sentiment from short-sellers, with significant increases in shares shorted month-over-month.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. (To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.)

Do you think short-sellers have reason to be pessimistic on these names? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by increase in shares shorted as a percent of share float.

1. Apartment Investment & Management Co. (NYSE:AIV): The company is a real estate investment manager. Market cap of $3.18B. The stock is currently trading 11.69% above its 20-day moving average, 4.08% above its 50-day MA, and 1.59% above its 200-day MA. Shares shorted have increased from 7.05M to 9.92M month-over-month, a change representing 2.41% of the company's 119.14M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.05). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.65% over the last week.

2. Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL): Develops and markets products and services for the hospitality, food service, healthcare, and industrial markets primarily in the United States. Market cap of $12.51B. The stock is currently trading 5.75% above its 20-day moving average, 7.61% above its 50-day MA, and 6.70% above its 200-day MA. Shares shorted have increased from 24.13M to 28.62M month-over-month, a change representing 2.18% of the company's 205.56M share float. The stock is a short-squeeze candidate, with a short float at 12.37% (equivalent to 7.38 days of average volume). The stock has gained 6.02% over the last year.

3. Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD): Operates as a retailer in the United States and Canada. Market cap of $8.01B. The stock is currently trading 14.51% above its 20-day moving average, 24.13% above its 50-day MA, and 2.95% above its 200-day MA. Shares shorted have increased from 11.55M to 12.01M month-over-month, a change representing 1.24% of the company's 37.24M share float. The stock is a short-squeeze candidate, with a short float at 11.7% (equivalent to 19.45 days of average volume). The stock has had a great month, gaining 44.02%.

4. Big Lots Inc. (NYSE:BIG): Operates as a broad line closeout retailer in the United States. Market cap of $2.46B. The stock is currently trading 9.58% above its 20-day moving average, 14.66% above its 50-day MA, and 6.27% above its 200-day MA. Shares shorted have increased from 4.42M to 5.20M month-over-month, a change representing 1.21% of the company's 64.36M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 8.42% over the last week.

Short data sourced from Yahoo Finance; all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.