Short Sellers Run for Cover From Major Oil

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Crude oil had traded above $50 a barrel in the first quarter of this year. Afterward it took a big step back. It recently has flirted with the $50 price level but hasn’t made any real progress past it. This was once thought as a support level, but it seems more like a price ceiling. The current crude price is still this is less than half of what it was in 2014.

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 August 31 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest moves for most of the selected oil stocks were downward.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest increase to 27.45 million shares from the previous reading of 26.04 million. The shares were last seen trading at $112.49, in a 52-week range of $97.53 to $119.00.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) increased to 38.23 million shares from the previous 35.15 million. The stock closed most recently at $79.50, within a 52-week range of $76.05 to $93.22.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest decreased to 7.26 million shares from the previous reading of 8.55 million. Shares traded at $35.75, in a 52-week range of $32.53 to $38.68.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short decreased to 32.25 million from the previous level of 33.43 million. Shares were trading at $44.93, within a 52-week range of $39.00 to $53.17.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, decreased to 31.45 million shares from the previous 41.78 million. The stock traded just below $9.89 a share, in a 52-week range of $7.61 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 9.31 million shares from the previous reading of 9.99 million. Shares recently traded at $60.78, in a 52-week range of $57.20 to $75.60.