Short Sellers Up the Ante in Major Oil Stocks

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Crude oil slipped below $70 a barrel early on Friday, the first time oil has been below this level in a couple weeks. The price of oil actually reached as high as nearly $73 in this span. If anything, this drop might offer some stabilization, but how quickly oil will recover and then some is yet to be seen. Recent Middle East tensions have helped push the price higher as well. The current crude price still pales in comparison to what it was in 2014.

The May 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 22.63 million shares from the previous reading of 20.99 million. The shares were last seen trading at $122.43, in a 52-week range of $102.55 to $133.88.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) increased to 36.74 million shares from the previous 28.99 million. The stock traded at $78.41, within a 52-week range of $72.16 to $89.30.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest fell to 5.10 million shares from the previous reading of 5.40 million. Shares traded at $44.22, in a 52-week range of $33.90 to $47.83.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short rose slightly to 21.33 million from the previous level of 21.01 million. Shares were trading at $64.79, within a 52-week range of $42.27 to $71.71.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, increased to 43.13 million shares from the previous 32.43 million. The stock traded at $12.69 a share, in a 52-week range of $7.61 to $17.20. 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 12.50 million shares from the previous reading of 11.05 million. Shares recently traded at $81.13, in a 52-week range of $57.84 to $86.38.