Short Sellers Hike Bets in Major Oil Stocks

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Crude oil is above $66 a barrel for the first time since late January and early February, and before this oil had not been at this price level in over two years. This begs the question whether the $70 price level is just around the corner, especially considering recent Middle East tensions. The current crude price still pales in comparison to what it was in 2014.

The March 15 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest in most of these selected big oil stocks increased.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest increase to 24.23 million shares from the previous reading of 21.45 million. The shares were last seen trading at $115.55, in a 52-week range of $102.55 to $133.88.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) increased to 34.26 million shares from the previous 33.44 million. The stock traded at $74.25, within a 52-week range of $72.67 to $89.30.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest increase to 6.21 million shares from the previous reading of 5.55 million. Shares traded at $40.40, in a 52-week range of $33.71 to $44.62.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short shrank to 22.65 million from the previous level of 24.34 million. Shares were trading at $59.05, within a 52-week range of $42.27 to $61.32.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, increased to 37.31 million shares from the previous 34.36 million. The stock traded at $14.35 a share, in a 52-week range of $7.61 to $14.93. 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 10.28 million shares from the previous reading of 8.15 million. Shares recently traded at $67.05, in a 52-week range of $57.20 to $78.09.