Short Sellers Hold Their Ground on Energy Stocks

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Crude oil traded around $61 a barrel early Thursday. Over the past month, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for immediate delivery has recovered about $10 a barrel, but still a little short of a high near $63 a barrel in mid-May.

Of the companies we watch, short interest rose on two of six energy stocks during the two-week reporting period ending June 28.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw short interest rise by 6% to 19.15 million shares, which represents about 1% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at two. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price increased by about 2.6%. The stock’s 52-week range is $100.22 to $128.55, and it closed at $125.44 on Wednesday, up about 1.7% for the day.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) short interest fell by 6% to 33.1 million shares, or 0.8% of the company’s float. In the two weeks to June 28, the share price increased by about 2.3%. The stock’s 52-week range is $64.65 to $87.36, and it closed at $77.51 on Wednesday, up about 1.4% for the day. Days to cover remained unchanged at three.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) saw a decrease of 11% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 0.1% of the total float, or 3.73 million American depositary shares, were short, and days to cover remained at one. The company’s shares traded up by about 2.5% over the period, and they closed Wednesday at $41.22, up about 0.7% for the day, in a 52-week range of $36.28 to $47.16.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) short interest fell by 2% in the final two weeks of June. Some 8.58 million shares were short, representing about 0.8% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained unchanged at one, and the stock price rose by 4% during the period. Shares closed Wednesday at $61.21, up by about 2.2% for the day, in a 52-week range of $56.75 to $80.24.

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, posted a drop of 10% in short interest during period. Some 31.08 million shares were short as of June 28, about 0.8% of the total float. The stock closed at $16.28 on Wednesday, up by about 1.4% for the day, in a 52-week range of $10.16 to $17.90. Shares traded up by about 2.9% in the short interest period, and days to cover remained unchanged at about two.

Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s (NYSE: OXY) saw short interest rise by 7% to 41 million shares. Days to cover remained unchanged at four, and about 5.5% of the company’s shares were short. In the latter half of June, the share price rose by about 0.5%. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.00 to $85.08, and shares closed Wednesday at $50.24, up by about 1.3% for the day.


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