Yesterday's release of the bi-monthly short interest figures showed that short sellers trimmed their bets for the third period in a row. As of August 29th, the average short interest as a percentage of float for stocks in the S&P 1500 declined to 10.7% from a peak of 11.9% on July 15th.
While the initial declines were attributed to the SEC's temporary short-term ban on naked short selling, the recent declines have come after the temporary order expired in August while the SEC was on summer vacation.
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Looking at individual stocks, there are currently 13 in the S&P 1500 which have over half of their float sold short, and one stock (NASDAQ:JOSB) has more than 100% of its float sold short. Interestingly, even with such a high level of short interest, JOSB has managed to show a YTD gain!
As one might expect, with the exception of Arthrocare (NASDAQ:ARTC), which is in the Health Care sector, every other stock on the list comes from either the Consumer Discretionary or Financial sector.