Short Sellers Keep Backing Off Major Oil Stocks

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Crude oil reached above $63 a barrel for the first time in over two years this week. The price held relatively steady above $50 for most of 2017, but with this recent push the $70 price level is easily in sight. The current crude price still pales in comparison to what it was in 2014.

The December 29 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest for most of the selected big oil stocks decreased.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest decrease to 21.86 million shares from the previous reading of 23.80 million. The shares were last seen trading at $129.98, a 52-week high. The 52-week low was $102.55.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) decreased to 33.66 million shares from the previous 35.67 million. The stock traded at $86.35, within a 52-week range of $76.05 to $87.41.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest increased to 6.70 million shares from the previous reading of 6.37 million. Shares traded at $43.08, in a 52-week range of $33.10 to $43.17.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short decreased to 22.96 million from the previous level of 23.25 million. Shares were trading at $58.21, within a 52-week range of $42.27 to $58.36.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, decreased to 43.19 million shares from the previous 51.33 million. The stock traded at $11.12 a share, in a 52-week range of $7.61 to $11.71. 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 increased to 11.32 million shares from the previous reading of 10.78 million. Shares recently traded at $74.38, in a 52-week range of $57.20 to $75.48.