The charts below are part of our semi-monthly update on short interest for stocks in the S&P 1500. To gain access to these charts for every sector and group in the S&P 1500, start a 14-day free trial to Bespoke’s research today!
Short interest figures for the middle of April were released after the close on Tuesday, and in what has become a consistent trend over the last several months, traders continue to pile into the Death By Amazon trade. The chart below compares the price of the S&P 1500 Retailing Index (left axis) to the average level of short interest (as a percentage of float) for stocks in the group (right axis). After hitting its lows for the bull market in mid-2013, the average level of short interest started trending higher and the pace really began to accelerate to the upside in early 2015. Since then, the pace of increase has only accelerated and currently stands at 13.15%. That’s the highest reading for the group since December 2008! Looking at the chart, it would appear as though investors who are shorting the group are getting taken out to the woodshed as the group’s price is right near bull market highs. This chart is quite misleading, though, as stocks like Amazon.com (AMZN) and Home Depot (HD) mask the overall trend. Underneath the surface, there is a lot of weakness in individual names.
Another group that has seen a rather steady but unnoticed increase in its average level of short interest is the Transportation group. While short interest in these stocks is nowhere near as high as it is in the Retailing group, at a level of 6.56%, the group’s average short interest as a percentage of float is the highest it has been since November 2010.