Short Sellers Decrease Bets in Major Oil

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The short interest data have been released for the August 31 settlement date. With oil prices seemingly on the slow path to recovery and the Dow and S&P 500 still near 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 31 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest for the selected oil stocks was mixed but largely down.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest decrease to 31.26 million shares from the previous reading of 33.62 million. Its shares closed Monday at $102.25, in a 52-week trading range of $74.96 to $107.58.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) had short interest that rose to 51.07 million shares from the previous 49.13 million. Shares closed Monday at $87.29, within a 52-week range of $71.55 to $95.55.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest decreased to 16.37 million shares from its previous reading of 18.35 million. Shares closed Monday at $34.63, in a 52-week range of $27.01 to $37.53.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) saw the number of its shares short decrease to 16.94 million from the previous level of 17.33 million. Shares closed Monday at $42.67, 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 81.47 million shares from the previous 89.02 million. Shares closed Monday at $9.81, in a 52-week trading range of $2.71 to $10.24. Unfortunately, Petrobras may be trading on an entirely different set of fundamentals and sentiment due to its ongoing woes in Brazil.

Occidental Petroleum Corp.‘s (NYSE: OXY) short interest decreased to 15.34 million shares from the previous reading of 16.60 million. Shares closed most recently at $75.85, in a 52-week trading range of $58.24 to $78.48.