Yesterday we reported that following a painful end to 2016, one of the most popular market bears, Horseman Global, had no choice but to begin capitulation and covering shorts:
[D]espite what I think, we are beginning to close parts of our short book. We have largely exited airline related shorts. We have also closed staple shorts, as they were largely there to protect against a fall in yields, which they did to a degree. We have also closed many developed financial shorts to make some space for Chinese financial shorts. We have also reduced the bond position and moved much of in to German bunds. The majority of the bund position is in 5 year bunds, the buy case I made a few months ago.
It turns out, he is not alone. As our friends at GaveKal point out, of the end of December, short interest dropped to its lowest level since early 2014, even as stock market indices hovered at new highs, suggesting that a short squeeze into the close of 2016 indeed took place as many trading desks suggested, and may have been responsible for the push higher in equity market toward the end of 2016.
Similar declines in the level of short interest occurred in 2009, 2010, and 2012.
But perhaps the most shocking consensus collapse in short interest is in US financials...