NYSE Short Interest Drops 3.5%, 42.5% Below Peak
On October 9, the NYSE provided its latest Short Interest update. The total number of shorted shares on the New York Stock Exchange at September 30 was 13.06 billion, a 3.5% decline from the 13.52 billion on September 15, a 42.5% decline from the all time high short position of 18.61 billion on July 15, 2008, and a 23.8% decline from the 2009 high of 16.17 billion in mid-March. The latest short interest represented a mere 3.42% of the total share outstanding as more and more bearish bets are closed, either voluntarily or forcefully. The current SI is equal to the short interest at the end of 2007.
Assuming a $20.50 average NYSE stock price, the decline from the March high has added $63 billion in often indiscriminate offer lifting power.
The second half of September saw the following stocks with the largest increase in SI:
- Rite Aid: 70.9%
- Coke: 45.3%
- Baker Hughes: 39.3%
- Eastman Kodak: 29.9%
- Altria: 18.8%
The SI decline was largest at these five companies:
- Johnson Controls: -73.7%
- Citigroup: -33.6%
- MGM Mirage: -36%
- Las Vegas Sands: -24.7%
- Exxon Mobil: -23.1%
A graphic representation of the moment of the NYSE short interest through the last 3 years.