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NYSE Short Interest Soars By Most Since March 2009 S&P Lows, Highest Shorting Since June 2010

Tyler Durden's picture


For anyone wondering why the biggest drivers of intraday moves in the stock market are furious short covering squeezes which have led the S&P to have daily fluctuations that make a mockery of the Fed's prerogative for "price stability", here is your answer. On August 15, short interest in the NYSE soared by over 1 billion shares compared to the end of July: this is the highest gross short interest since June 15, 2010, and the biggest increase biweekly increase in NYSE short interest since the S&P's plunge to 666 in March of 2009. If the central planners pull something out of their sleeve, and the short interest plunges to recent averages in the mid 13 billion share level, expect some even more furious short covering sprees to send the S&P much higher on an intraday basis.

Elsewhere, indicating that even following the current rout, the bulk of investors had negative net worth, and margin debt was near historic highs, comes again from the NYSE which shows that in July margin debt was unchanged from June, as was net investor worth. We keep waiting to find out just how it is that virtually no hedge fund blow ups have been announced despite margin debt being at such high historic levels.


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Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:37 | 1612002 Racer
Racer's picture

And easiest way to start the short covering rolling is by overnight futures squeeeeeeeeeeeze

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:48 | 1612038 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

s&p up 2.5% today, bitchez.

short the fucking spike. 

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:41 | 1612193 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Yep, banking on it.. Literally.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:38 | 1612007 IMA5U
IMA5U's picture

so pain of short squeeze is soaring

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:38 | 1612009 MFL8240
MFL8240's picture

Got to hand it to the US markets, nothing like solid moves on fundamentals! lol!!

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:06 | 1612078 Greater Fool
Greater Fool's picture

Fundamentals are boring. We require entertainment!

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:38 | 1612010 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Like bloody chum for the HFT sharks.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:11 | 1612090 malikai
malikai's picture

Exactly what I'm reading here. I think this will be a good bonus season.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:39 | 1612014 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Why does it seem like we are seeing a bit of an internal struggle here amongst some big players?  Perhaps I am just paranoid, no matter, all value added equities and survival commodities are paying out today.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:40 | 1612016 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

The curous nature of this beast, is more of who shortin who?

NOt getting the hedgefund views much, lately.

THe final episode of "lost" should have bee performed at wall street ave.


Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:42 | 1612020 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

no margin calls for under water equity positions ever, only for highly above water gold positions.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:59 | 1612063 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Essentially a de facto short selling ban.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:43 | 1612024 Old Poor Richard
Old Poor Richard's picture

And now, from the Misleading Charts Desk, this just in!


Wonder how (not) bad the short interest vs SPY looks on a log scale, or even on a linear scale that goes down to zero.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:44 | 1612029 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

Pretty much as described: the highest since June 2010, and the biggest biweekly change since March 2009. Any other observations?

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:57 | 1612058 dracos_ghost
dracos_ghost's picture

All I know is that those charts are bullish for Adderall. Log or no log scale.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 14:20 | 1612348 Libertarians fo...
Libertarians for Prosperity's picture

Given how the market performed after March 2009 and after June 2010, I think it's fairly safe to say we're in for a huge run.  

The real question is, where to put your money during the next 12 months?  APPL, BAC, SLV, GLD or the dreaded National Bank of Greece (NBG)? How about the XHB?

Methinks the next 12 months are going to be absolutely awe-inspiring.  



Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:58 | 1612059 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"the highest since June 2010"

Hhmm, three months before the bernanke put called "QE2".  I don't know, but with equities at their current level and stealth QE proceeding just fine, it seems like many should not only be seeking commodities and value-added equities with dividends, but also inflation protection.  What am I missing here, why is gold not holding?  More margin hikes?  Current policy seems to act essentially like a short selling ban.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:17 | 1612107 VegasRage
VegasRage's picture

Margin hikes? That's what I'm thinking. The wheels are coming off the wagon and yet we see trading in the exact opposite direction of what it should be. This market is acurately described as unbeleivable.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:25 | 1612131 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Yes but there is something changing BIGTIME!

Let me explain:

These last few weeks I'm starting to think that I'd just do whatever sounds the most unlogic thing to do and short while everybody is bullish and go long when everybody predicts a drop.

And one day, when I'll be able to totally clear my mind and throw my common sence overboard I'll do it, AND I'M PRETTY CLOSE NOW!!

Now what does this mean?

Well, let me explain:


So maybe next week I'll do a stupid move and go long.



Mon, 08/29/2011 - 14:15 | 1612323 dracos_ghost
dracos_ghost's picture

This market is pretty much a puppet show setup to separate the average retail investor from his wealth.

What's the old adage, "Better to be rich than right". Or "When rape is inevitable ...". I'm not sure which one is more approprate for the current situation.

This market is about riding whatever algo wavefunction is injected into any "price discovery" of the markets. Logic ain't got nuttin to do with it.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 14:23 | 1612368 VegasRage
VegasRage's picture

Ah now I understand, P&E ratios are still inflated around 24, dividends are scraping the ground at around 2%. Who needs fair value anyways?! Screw it I'm all in! Go longs!

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:09 | 1612083 Greater Fool
Greater Fool's picture

All the guys selling those nice and pricey OTM SPY puts have to delta-hedge, don't they?

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:14 | 1612101 Quadlet
Quadlet's picture

Spikes in short interest seem to correspond to market bottoms, not tops. If anything, this indicates that the market should move up from here.

I usually just assume that the market is going to try to screw as many people as possible with every opportunity.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:20 | 1612114 malikai
malikai's picture

How so? It's like watching television here. We're basically watching robots fuck. And I pity anyone who actually believes that shit is real and is using their own money to play it.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:37 | 1612180 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

I pity anyone actually in the market, youre like an injured tuna in a school of Great Whites.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 14:06 | 1612287 baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

indeed, it appears Marc Faber has called a bottom of some sort akin to his rock-bottom in equities call march 2009. He said near term top for this move is S&P 1250-1300... but no new highs for the next 6-12 months.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 19:14 | 1613360 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

The short covering will drive the S&P to new intraday highs"---and new interday highs, and new weekly highs, I believe this process is called a market rally.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:44 | 1612026 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture

Low volume melt ups are always followed by hudge high volume sell offs, this time though, "it is different"!:)))

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:44 | 1612028 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

As long as shorts have to cover their ass or eventually sell to take profits, markets are going higher and will always remain above their intrinsic value.  Ban short selling = markets could go bidless.  I'd like to see that happen.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:50 | 1612040 tmarket
tmarket's picture

Short interest is a poor predictor of market direction, given the current role of HFT:

"There have been some days in recent years, for example, in which more than 40% of the trading volume represented the initiation of a short sale—the vast majority of which came from high frequency traders. This has caused short interest to be higher in recent years than it otherwise would have been."

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:53 | 1612046 JohnG
JohnG's picture

What will it take to end this farce?

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:54 | 1612047 Ausperity
Ausperity's picture

Don't fight the FED, bitchez!!!

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:54 | 1612048 Implicit simplicit
Implicit simplicit's picture

It is a simple algorithm- Good bot- see and attck the stops whereever they are.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:55 | 1612050 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Lots of bears who bought puts during last week's frenzy and hysteria are now way underwater.

It is going to be decision time soon as to whether they bail and reload, or if they remain stubborn and hang on.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:57 | 1612056 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Nowhere near as underwater as you are with your 'Im all in long here at DOW 12,700 for this debt ceiling massive run up'

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:39 | 1612187 walküre
walküre's picture

So what else is new? How much longer can BB pull this off? He's pissing off a lot of traders. What's left of them anyway.

That short interest is not Ma & Pa retail shorting interest. They're out long ago. These are major players and they're loosing money and they are blaming BB. He better have a good hiding place is all I'm saying. In NY and Chicagoland, the fields are littered with scammers who got done for less.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:56 | 1612053 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

well it can't be the little guy, he's not selling short, he's just selling everything period, He's got bills and taxes and gas to buy... this is all fund managers trying to hedge disaster imo.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:57 | 1612055 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Same old story

Retail names like ANF, JWN, WFM, BBBY all outpeforming

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:58 | 1612060 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Same old story, RoboTrader flippin the script from his epic phail call of 'All in long here at 12,700, I suggest you bears do that same'....gee hows that workin out for ya?

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:02 | 1612071 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Hey Sheepdog, I burned 75 laps at Perris Raceway on Saturday when it was 105 degrees and high humidity.  Guys were dropping like flies but I held on and finished all 3 motos no problem.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:57 | 1612057 zerohandle
zerohandle's picture

How's the compression trade looking?

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:59 | 1612062 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

I'm amazed stocks are grinding up and the Euro is still flat.

If stocks close near the highs, the Summation Index on both the NY Composite and Nasdaq will have its first big "gap up" day.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:59 | 1612064 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

I cannot imagine the thought processes of anyone trying to trade this bankster controlled market. I can't help getting this nagging feeling that something wicked this way comes...

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:00 | 1612066 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Leading stocks on my screen are XHB, KRE, IWM.

Usually in bear phases, these sectors lag on rally days.  But not today.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:03 | 1612072 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Gee, well hows your rear view mirrors attached to your monitor showing your 'All in long here at DOW 12,700 for this huge debt ceiling resolution run up' call hows that lookin?

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:02 | 1612070 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Well either a bunch of shorts here will get crew cuts with a lawnmower, or the pressure will be to much and we get a blowout at high HFT pumping speed.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:11 | 1612092 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture

Fellas, fellas, it's not short covering. It's optimism abt economic recovery!

Recovery, bitchez!

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:14 | 1612098 Yardstick of Ci...
Yardstick of Civilization's picture

There is no fear of anything imminent happening.  I'm just starting to understand how this all works.  Confidence and lack of fear = go in debt to make the next purchase = continuation of the system.  TPTB just need to keep confidence up in order to live in their house of cards.  Depending on how good they are at psychology, it could go on for a very long time.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:17 | 1612104 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



Per Ben-O-Cide! and Infini-Timmy!!

You may short the following;

Gold ='s ok to short.

Oil ='s ok to short.

Silver ='s ok to short.

Please remember.. Do! NOT!! Fight the FED!!!

All Non-FED Approved Shorts will Now be Crushed!

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:16 | 1612106 Highrev
Highrev's picture

this price "instability" is what happens when the sheeple all move to one side of the boat following their various cargo gods like TD on the fear side and Cramer on the greed side

btw nice posting Robo

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 14:27 | 1612385 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture




if you own multiple pounds of Gold..

Fear is not on the menu.

Gold is Peace of Mind, Borimg really.. that's how safe I feel..

I have earned enough paper profits in gold that I may sell some and invest the profits into the markets (high risk)..

NAAAAAAA! why waste the fiat when I can buy more hard currency.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:19 | 1612111 docmac324
docmac324's picture

"It's just a ride"


(Mr. Bill Hicks)



Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:56 | 1612253 drivenZ
drivenZ's picture

was just listening to some hicks over the he would have an endless amount of BS corporate/political/financial material if he were still around. 


It's Keith Moon for Snickers: "Sometimes I'm doin a drum solo an I havent eaten fer like three fuck-in weeks....i eat a Snickahhs".   

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:19 | 1612112 Robslob
Robslob's picture

RoboClown only shows up for High Momentum rallies...cries Go All In Here and then disappears as the markets fall into the abyss...rinse repeat all the way down S&P 900.



Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:21 | 1612118 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

FAZ $81 to $53.  What a horrible shorting vehicle.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:34 | 1612169 tickhound
tickhound's picture

True, but I enjoyed a rather small, yet profitable piece of the previous run from $44 to $81 in about half that time.

But who am I to argue with the High Priest of Immaculate Hindsight... A subsidiary spawned from the Church of What's Working Now.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:35 | 1612170 walküre
walküre's picture

It's managed by ProShares. They're a bunch of scammers.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:33 | 1612163 walküre
walküre's picture

Thanks, Tyler for posting the short interest. I had a hunch that Friday's massive reversal was a short squeeze because QE3 was never on the table, the short interest due to lack of further QE announcement was high and then voila the opposite happens, the ES gets driven higher and traders scramble to cover.

Same old same old..

What is new today though is that the markets are up on a day where NY is basically standing still or at the very least, NY including the banks and the traders and all have much different things on their minds than a stock market rally based on garbage.

It's just garbage what they're doing now. At least give the impression that something is still legit. There's nothing legit about the S&P screaming 2.5% higher in the face of declining fundamentals and in the aftermath of a hurricane that has all minds preoccupied anyway.

So why the rally? Who gives a fuck anymore? Trade this way, trade that way. It's all bullshit really. I stick with my recos to close trading accounts, take what's left in cash and convert to physical gold and silver or buy land. The big motherfucker market explosion or implosion is coming and it won't be pretty. Cash will be worthless, accounts will be frozen and get used to accepting "cents on the dollar" on everything that is not hard core metal and stored away.

The day is coming.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 13:47 | 1612214 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

Thanks for putting into words exactly what I am feeling. I see gold get slammed when it should be skyrockting, and the equity markets screaming higher for absolutely no fucking reason at all.  It is impossible to buy anything based on logic, so therefore, it is impossible for any sane person to invest.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 14:30 | 1612393 walküre
walküre's picture

The market is being front run. The plebs think the markets are green and despite their personal crappy financial situation, they will have "hope" and resume the spending binge. Some might even be stupid enough to buy equities and try their luck in the markets.

Back to school sales are a big event for retailers and financial institutions. Consumers don't spend (as much) when their propaganda benchmark indicator (the markets) are tanking.

Markets are being propped up to counter all the other measures of economic sentiment.

It might work, I'm not saying it won't. But in the end, bills need to get paid and if banks have to continue writing off mortgages or credit card bills their liquidity is depleting further.

Sure, trading this market like a rollercoaster and hope to make a gain... or take a trip to Vegas and roll the dice.. same thing.

Everyone decide for themselves, what is more fun!

At least when I'm in Vegas, the gangsters running the casinos have earned that their reputation the hard way. I respect that. The banking cartel are just vermin hiding behind the skirts of lawyers and pretending their all that much better and smarter when in fact, they're just a bunch of weasels.

Let's see how long these weasels can piss off the tough guys and continue to piss their money away.


Mon, 08/29/2011 - 14:00 | 1612264 Lord Peter Pipsqueak
Lord Peter Pipsqueak's picture

Boy GS and JPM must just love seeing stats and articles like this,they can almost smell the money they haven't made yet.

MArket going vertical now past the points last week where it was going down because of the S&P downgrade(last time I looked US was still AA)and fears Benny wouldn't pull QE3 out of the hat(he hasn't).

So to conclude,the market dropped like a stone for no reason,and now it is going back up ...well for no reason.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 14:03 | 1612278 erik
erik's picture

That seems like enough firepower to get the S&P back to the 50% re-trace of 1225.  A break above the recent peak at 1208 will have the bulls clamoring that a bottom is in, as it will mark a higher high follwing the recent higher low.


Mon, 08/29/2011 - 19:23 | 1613389 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

The bottom was in last week; you're a little late.

Mon, 08/29/2011 - 14:58 | 1612502 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

the comments on this board are dominated by people complaining about the market not cooperating with them. they want to make money , if they didn't why are they even commenting?


live by the paper trading die by the paper trading. bitchez. 

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 11:06 | 1614935 longorshort
longorshort's picture

Tyler,  Do you have access to an updated margin chart?  June is a quite a while back it would be nice to see the effect of the plunge on margin if any.  Also where can one see this margin info at?

Tue, 08/30/2011 - 11:06 | 1614937 longorshort
longorshort's picture

Tyler,  Do you have access to an updated margin chart?  June is a quite a while back it would be nice to see the effect of the plunge on margin if any.  Also where can one see this margin info at?

Mon, 09/05/2011 - 09:54 | 1634138 shacai
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