Major Oil Stocks Scare Off Short Sellers

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Crude oil reached above $66 a barrel for the first time in over two years in late January and early February. However, the price has dropped significantly since then and is currently around $60. Although the price held relatively steady above $50 for most of 2017, and the push in early 2018 put the $70 price level easily in sight, recent market volatility has called all of this into question. The current crude price still pales in comparison to what it was in 2014.

The January 31 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest in most of these selected big oil stocks decreased.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest decrease to 22.36 million shares from the previous reading of 23.41 million. The shares were last seen trading at $115.65, in a 52-week range of $102.55 to $133.88.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) decreased to 34.80 million shares from the previous 36.70 million. The stock traded at $77.45, within a 52-week range of $73.90 to $89.30.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest dropped to 5.30 million shares from the previous reading of 7.21 million. Shares traded at $39.95, in a 52-week range of $33.10 to $44.62.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short decreased to 23.15 million from the previous level of 24.60 million. Shares were trading at $52.55, within a 52-week range of $42.27 to $61.32.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, increased to 53.95 million shares from the previous 45.15 million. The stock traded at $12.65 a share, in a 52-week range of $7.61 to $13.99. 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 11.44 million shares from the previous reading of 11.77 million. Shares recently traded at $69.65, in a 52-week range of $57.20 to $78.09.