Short Sellers Grow More Selective in Major Oil Stocks

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Crude oil was trading right around $45 a barrel early on Thursday. Over the past month, crude has been down sharply, following the markets lower for the year. However, it is worth pointing out that the current crude price still pales in comparison to what it was in 2014.

The December 14 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest in these selected big oil stocks was mixed.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest increase to 20.03 million shares from the previous reading of 18.44 million. The shares were trading at $105.65 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $100.22 to $133.88.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) rose to 32.78 million shares from the previous level of 27.75 million. The stock traded at $67.10, within a 52-week range of $64.65 to $89.30.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest decreased to 5.44 million shares from the previous level of 5.96 million. Shares traded at $37.40, in a 52-week range of $36.15 to $47.83.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short rose to 12.52 million from the previous 11.82 million. Shares were trading at $59.80, within a 52-week range of $50.18 to $80.24.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, decreased to 29.91 million shares from the previous 32.88 million. The stock traded at $12.50 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 13.58 million shares from the previous reading of 16.80 million. Shares recently traded at $59.50, in a 52-week range of $56.83 to $87.67.

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