Short Sellers Grow More Selective on Major Oil

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Crude oil was trading right around $57 a barrel early on Thursday. Over the past month, crude has fluctuated, ranging from $52 to $57 a barrel but following the markets higher for the most part. However, it is worth pointing out that the current crude price still pales in comparison to what it was in 2014.

The February 15 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest moves in these selected big oil stocks were mixed.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest decrease to 16.93 million shares from the previous reading of 17.32 million. The shares were trading at $118.69 early Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $100.22 to $131.08.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) rose to 30.86 million shares from the previous level of 26.80 million. The stock traded at $75.04, within a 52-week range of $64.65 to $87.36.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest increased to 8.82 million shares from the previous level of 7.04 million. Shares traded at $42.56, in a 52-week range of $36.28 to $47.83.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short decreased to 10.58 million from the previous 10.90 million. Shares were trading at $68.09, within a 52-week range of $52.54 to $80.24.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, rose to 27.58 million shares from the previous 27.11 million. The stock traded at $15.96 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 10.54 million shares from the previous reading of 12.07 million. Shares recently traded at $66.16, in a 52-week range of $56.83 to $87.67.

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