Short interest data for the middle of June was released by the major exchanges on Monday, and below we have highlighted the 21 stocks in the index with more than a third of their float sold short.  For each of the stocks listed, we have also included its performance so far in June.  While 21 stocks have more than a third of their free floating stocks sold short, five actually have more than half of their float sold short.  That’s some pretty negative sentiment!

The title of most heavily shorted stock in the S&P 1500 goes to- wait for it now- surprise, a retailer!  Shares of Dillard’s (DDS) not only have half of their float sold short, but nearly two-thirds of its float is currently sold short.  You don’t see that very often.  Behind DDS, the remaining four stocks in the S&P 1500 with more than half of their float sold short are Applied Optoelectornics (AAOI), Bristow (BRS), CARBO Ceramics (CRR), and Shake Shack (SHAK).

In terms of performance so far this month, the most heavily shorted stocks in the S&P 1500 have done well so far this month averaging a gain of 3.95% (median: 3.48%) compared to a gain of 1.32% for the S&P 1500.  The biggest winners have been Myriad Genetics (MYGN) and LGI Homes (LGIH) which are both up over 20%.  Not all of the most shorted stocks have been winners, though.  Both Applied Optoelectronics (AAOI) and Fred’s (FRED) are both down over 10%.

For anyone who has been tracking our posts on short interest over time will already know, the most heavily shorted stocks have been underperforming the broader market for several months now.  The fact that we are now seeing some improvement in terms of relative strength, suggests that investors may be opening up to the idea of moving into riskier stocks.

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