Short Sellers Increase Bets in Major Oil Stocks

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Crude oil had traded above $50 a barrel before early March, and just recently it has fallen back below that level. This was once thought as a support level, but after crude dropped by over 5%, it has been called into question, even considering recent strength. The current crude price is still this is less than half of what it was in 2014. Following recent geopolitical tensions in the Syria, crude oil appears to be holding steady around $45.

Also former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson taking the role of Secretary of State could prove to be beneficial for the oil industry. Considering this, short interest for major oil stocks is now more important than ever to follow.

The May 31 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest for most of the selected oil stocks increased.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest increase to 22.46 million shares from the previous reading of 21.04 million. The shares were last seen at $106.40, in a 52-week trading range of $97.53 to $119.00.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) increased to 33.66 million shares from the previous 31.40 million. The stock was trading at $82.13, within a 52-week range of $79.26 to $95.55.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest decreased to 20.01 million shares from the previous reading of 20.72 million. Shares were recently at $35.83, in a 52-week range of $30.66 to $38.68.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short increased to 25.89 million from the previous level of 21.52 million. Shares were trading at $44.82, within a 52-week range of $38.80 to $53.17.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, increased to 52.89 million shares from the previous 42.31 million. The stock traded at $8.41 a share, in a 52-week range of $5.89 to $12.56. 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 14.25 million shares from the previous reading of 14.80 million. Shares recently traded at $61.01, in a 52-week range of $57.20 to $78.48.