A week ago, when we pointed out that the NYSE short interest had surged to nearly its highest levels in over a year at 14.4 billion shares, we speculated that as the market surge appeared to be moderating, that the 600+ million in new incremental shorts had covered. This, of course, happened before the most recent parabolic ramp in stocks (which was spun by CNBC as "validated" by Tepper's "buy stocks no matter what" comments). Friday's NYSE SI update now explains the seemingly ceaseless surge in stocks despite constantly deteriorating economic news. The reason: the gross short interest between August 31 and September 15 was completely unchanged! It appears that just as retail investors refuse to allocate capital to stocks regardless of how artificially high the market goes, so shorts completely ignored the ramp in the market from ~ 1050 On August 30 to around 1125 on September 15: short remained dead even at 14.4 billion. So what happens? State Street/BoNY gets the daily short report, passes it on the the repo desks, and tells them to pull the borrow in the most shorted stocks, as apparently the message to the shorts just isn't getting through. And what better way to force a short ramp than to keep shorts massively squeezed. But because the stubborn shorts don't buy the ramp in stocks, they keep putting on new replacement shorts, which has led the market to keep recycling the weakest hands, endless retail outflows be damned. Which means that the squeeze could easily continue for so long as the State Streets of the world believe that the shorts will finally capitulate, and make the rally self-sustaining. So far it is not working.