Short interest figures for the middle of September were released after the close on Thursday, and we will be sending our semi-monthly analysis of key trends in the most recent update to clients later today. One trend we wanted to highlight here, though, is the incredibly poor performance of the most heavily shorted stocks in the S&P 1500. The table below lists the 30 stocks in the S&P 1500 with the highest short interest as a percentage of float. For each stock, we have also included its performance so far this month.
Looking at the list as a whole, it certainly hasn’t paid to be long stocks with high levels of short interest this month. Those short them are having an absolute field day, though. On an overall basis, the average performance of the stocks listed is a decline of 12.1%! While this average is skewed by a handful of big losers, even the median return is a decline of 6.52%, which is nearly five times the decline of the S&P 1500 as a whole. Just to give you an idea of how bad it has been for the most heavily shorted stocks, more of the stocks listed are down 25% or more this month (8) than up (7). For further analysis of trends in short interest, be sure to check out our Short Interest Report, which Bespoke Premium and Bespoke Institutional members receive. If you’re not yet a member, visit our Subscribe page to see how you can sign up today.