Energy Business

Short Sellers Don't Fight the Surge in Oil and Gas Stocks

Crude oil traded around $38.10 a barrel early Tuesday, up by about $6.50 a barrel over the past two weeks. The reopening, gradual though it may be, coupled with a greater demand for gasoline and an extension to the OPEC+ production cuts continues pushing prices higher.

Of the companies we watch, short interest decreased on five of six energy stocks during the two-week reporting period ending May 29.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw short interest fall by 17% to 17.7 million shares, which represents about 1.0% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at one. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price fell by about 2.5%. Its 52-week range is $51.60 to $127.00, and it closed at $101.53 on Tuesday, down by about 1.7% for the day.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) short interest rose by 2.0% to 60.6 million shares, or about 1.6% of the company’s float. In the two weeks to May 29, the share price rose by about 0.4%. The stock’s 52-week range is $30.11 to $77.93, and it closed at $53.52 on Tuesday, down by about 2.2% for the day.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) saw a drop of 22% in short interest during the two-week period. About 0.3% of the total float, or 13.0 million American depositary shares (ADSs), were short, and days to cover remained at one. The company’s shares traded down by about 3.7% over the period, and they closed down about 3.7% Tuesday at $27.34 in a 52-week range of $15.51 to $42.70.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) short interest fell 7.0% in the period. Some 12.6 million shares were short, representing about 1.1% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained at one, and the stock price dropped by about 2.1% during the two weeks. Shares closed Tuesday at $48.63, down about 3.3%, in a 52-week range of $20.84 to $67.13.

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, short interest dropped by 9.0% during the period. Some 42.9 million ADSs were short as of May 29, about 1.2% of the total float. They closed at $9.29 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $4.01 to $16.95. They jumped by 11.2% in the short interest period, and days to cover rose from one to two.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) saw short interest slide by 16.0% to 64.8 million shares. Days to cover remained at two, and about 7.2% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to May 29, the share price tumbled about 13.8%. The stock’s 52-week range is $9.00 to $54.05, and shares closed Tuesday at $23.18, down by 5.0% for the day.