Short Sellers Can’t Make Up Their Minds on Major Oil

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The short interest data have been released for the August 15 settlement date. With oil prices seemingly on the slow path to recovery and the Dow and S&P 500 hitting new highs, short interest is now more important than ever to follow. Although crude oil prices have backed off slightly as of late, these major oil companies have responded in kind.

The August 15 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest for the selected oil stocks was mixed.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest increase to 33.62 million shares from the previous reading of 33.23 million. Its shares closed Wednesday at $102.20, in a 52-week trading range of $70.95 to $107.58.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) had short interest that rose to 49.13 million shares from the previous 45.40 million. Shares closed Wednesday at $88.02, within a 52-week range of $69.15 to $95.55.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest decreased to 18.35 million shares from its previous reading of 19.32 million. Shares closed Wednesday at $34.27, in a 52-week range of $27.01 to $37.53.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) saw the number of its shares short decrease to 17.33 million from the previous level of 17.41 million. Shares closed Wednesday at $42.96, within a 52-week range of $31.05 to $57.24.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, saw its short interest decrease to 89.02 million shares from the previous 94.44 million. Shares closed Wednesday at $9.05, in a 52-week trading range of $2.71 to $9.52. Unfortunately, Petrobras may be trading on an entirely different set of fundamentals and sentiment due to its woes in Brazil.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) short interest increased to 16.60 million shares from the previous reading of 14.70 million. Shares closed most recently at $77.72, in a 52-week trading range of $58.24 to $78.31.