The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY struggled in September, historically its worst month of the year.
The S&P 500 hit new lows, and many investors' year-to-date returns sank deeper into the red last month. Conversely, a new report from ORTEX Analytics reveals short sellers had a great month of September.
Big Month For Shorts: Short sellers generated $45.2 billion in profits in September, according to ORTEX. Short sellers were most aggressive in betting against the energy sector, which saw its short interest rise by 14.7% in the month.
The consumer staples sector and the financials sector also each saw double-digit gains in short interest last month. The tech sector was the only sector that saw its short interest decline, but only by 1.6%.
Biggest Winners And Losers: One tech stock in particular was a home run trade for short sellers in September. Apple, Inc. AAPL short sellers netted a roughly $2-billion profit last month. Apple shares tumbled 12.1% in the month on news initial demand for the new iPhone 14 lineup may not be as strong as the company and its investors had hoped. ORTEX said Apple was the most profitable short in the entire market in September.
While many short sellers had a great month, that certainly wasn't the case for traders betting against Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc REGN. Positive late-stage trial data for the company's anti-blindness treatment sent the stock soaring 18.5% on the month.
ORTEX reports Regeneron short sellers endured a net loss of $307 million in September, making it the most costly short of the month.
Benzinga's Take: Short sellers are off to a rough start to the month of October, and early month gains could soon trigger some major short squeezes in the market.
ORTEX named Beam Global BEEM, Shift Technologies Inc SFT and Up Fintech Holding Ltd TIGR among its top short squeeze candidates.
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