Major Oil Stocks Send Short Sellers Running for Cover

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Crude oil was trading right around $69 a barrel early on Thursday. Over the past month, crude has been up and down, reaching as high as about $73 and as low as $65, but the current crude price still pales in comparison to what it was in 2014.

The August 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 16.71 million shares from the previous reading of 17.19 million. The shares were last seen trading at $115.29, in a 52-week range of $108.02 to $133.88.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) decreased to 27.07 million shares from the previous level of 27.37 million. The stock traded at $82.49, within a 52-week range of $72.16 to $89.30.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest increased to 5.27 million shares from the previous 4.49 million. Shares traded at $43.24, in a 52-week range of $36.15 to $47.83.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short fell to 11.83 million from the previous 12.60 million. Shares were trading at $71.30, within a 52-week range of $45.65 to $74.73.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, decreased to 42.60 million shares from the previous 43.43 million. The stock traded at $10.52 a share, in a 52-week range of $9.02 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 decreased to 8.56 million shares from the previous reading of 8.97 million. Shares recently traded at $75.24, in a 52-week range of $61.09 to $87.67.