NYSE Short Interest Surges To Second Highest In A Year In Advance Of September Short-Covering Rally
Still wondering what caused the nearly 10% spike in the market? It sure as hell wasn't flows into funds and/or ETFs: both were negative for August, and we know that at least mutual funds have seen outflows for all of September. The reason is far simpler and it is no different from what caused the blind rally back in March 2009 when State Street commenced forced stock buy-ins after it gave an order to repo desks to recall all financial shorts: the NYSE short interest as of August 31 was 14.4 billion shares. This was the second highest gross short interest on the NYSE in over a year, and the highest since mid-June, when the market dropped from over 1,100 to the year lows just over 1,000. This time however, shorts were caught flat footed, as the spike in shorts by over 600 million NYSE shares, has seen a straight line market ramp beginning on August 31, and forcing blind covering without regard for what offers are lifted: a perfect environment for those who wish to set price on the offer side to execute their plan. At this point the short covering rally appears to have fizzled - we will update you on the mid-September SI data when it is released in a few days time.