Short Sellers Pull Back on Energy Stocks

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Crude oil traded around $54.11 a barrel early Thursday, down nearly $3 in the past week. Over the past month, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for immediate delivery has dipped by about $0.30 a barrel.

Of the companies we watch, short interest fell on five of six energy stocks during the two-week reporting period ending August 30.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw short interest drop by 4% to 17.6 million shares, which represents about 1% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at three. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price decreased by less than 1%. Its 52-week range is $100.22 to $127.60, and it traded at $121.27 on Thursday.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) short interest dipped by 1% to 37.3 million shares, or 0.9% of the company’s float. In the two weeks to August 30, the share price rose by about 0.9%. The stock’s 52-week range is $64.65 to $87.36, and it traded at $71.66 on Thursday. Days to cover remained at four.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) saw an increase of 30% in short interest during the two-week period. Less than 1% of the total float, or 8.43 million American depositary shares (ADSs), were short, and days to cover remained around one. The company’s shares traded up by about 3.4% over the period, and shares traded Thursday at $37.67, in a 52-week range of $35.73 to $47.16.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) short interest dipped by 1% in the latter half of August. Some 9.23 million shares were short, representing about 0.8% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained at two, and the stock price rose by about 1.4% during the period. Shares traded Thursday at $56.20, in a 52-week range of $50.13 to $80.24.

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, posted a decrease of 1% in short interest. Some 32.35 million ADSs were short as of August 30, about 0.9% of the total float. It traded at $14.64 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $10.38 to $17.90. Shares traded flat in the two-week short interest period, and days to cover remained unchanged at about two.

Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s (NYSE: OXY) saw short interest tumble by 21% to 14.6 million shares. Days to cover remained at two, and about 2.4% of the company’s shares were short. In the short interest period, the share price fell by about 0.3%. The stock’s 52-week range is $41.83 to $83.35, and shares traded Thursday at $45.69.


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