Market Overview

Popular Index ETF Tops This Week's Short-Selling List

Popular Index ETF Tops This Week's Short-Selling List

FIS Astec Analytics has released its latest weekly list of the most popular stocks among short sellers.

This week’s list contains an unsettling top pick, as well as several companies making their first appearance in quite some time. Here’s a rundown of this week’s hottest stocks among short sellers.

Top Pick: SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust

Investors never want to the see the most popular stock or ETF among short sellers to be an index ETF representing the entire stock market. The good news for investors is that short interest in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) remain down 63 percent overall in the past year, and much of the recent volume may be due to hedging rather than bearish bets against the market.

Related Link: J C Penney Jumps To The Top Of The Short Seller List

1. IBM

Short sellers increased their positions in International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) by 5 percent in the most recent week. Long-term IBM short sellers have been rewarded for their patience, with the stock now down 28.5 percent in the past five years.

2. Exxon Mobil

ExxonMobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) returned to the top shorts list this week for the first time in a long time. Until the most recent week, short sellers had been consistently abandoning the stock over the past year, sending short interest down more than 58 percent from its 52-week high.

3. Crane Co

Short sellers may be getting a second wind when it comes to construction stock Crane Co. (NYSE: CR). Short interest is down 86 percent from its August peak, but last week’s trading action once placed Crane among the most popular shorts on the market.

4. Tesla

While the top few spots on this week’s list of top shorts are new appearances, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) has been a favorite short bet among traders week-in and week-out. FIS Astec reports Tesla’s short interest jumped 6 percent last week as traders continue to bet on bumps in the road during the Model 3 production ramp.

5. Coty

Short interest in beauty company Coty Inc (NYSE: COTY) increased 5 percent in the most recent week. The supply of available shares to borrow must have risen as well because FIS Astec reports that 100 percent of available supply remains borrowed.


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