Five Stocks Choking on the Short Interest: Cliffs Natural, Molycorp and More

Short sellers might have a hard time if they are just trying to say that the stock market is going down. Stocks keep rising again. But that is not true in all sectors, and certainly not true in many of the stocks that may be having problems. We looked through the latest NYSE short interest data and found that some stocks are actually choking under the short interest.

We looked at those where the short interest rose and where the short interest was 30% or more of the entire float. This generated results in Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF), GenCorp Inc. (NYSE: GY), Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP), Walter Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WLT),and Western Refining Inc. (NYSE: WNR).

We wanted to take a closer look here to see what it means for investors. As a reminder, if the short interest is this high, just imagine what happens if any good news or any less bad news comes out. The fundamentals may be working against these players, but that might not prevent massive short squeezes ahead.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) saw its short interest rise 13% to 54,796,340 shares as of June 28, versus 48,474,274 shares as of June 14. This represents 36% of its float and is about five days to cover. Shares remain only about one-third of their highs.

GenCorp Inc. (NYSE: GY) saw its short interest rise by 30% to 17,566,913 shares as of June 28, versus 13,445,927 shares as of June 14. This now represents more than 31% of its float and is about 15 days to cover. This stock is very thinly covered by analysts as well, but its aerospace and defense shares have continued to rise.

Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP) saw its short interest rise to 48,717,979 as of June 28, versus 46,665,750 shares as of June 14. This is a gain of 4.4%, and it accounts for 36.3% of the float and is eight days to cover. Amazingly, Molycorp is now up considerably from its lows, even if it is a small fraction of its past.

Walter Energy Inc. (NYSE: WLT) has had a very tough year, as it is in metallurgical coal. Short sellers continue to press their bets here: the short interest rose by almost 19% to 24,156,308 shares as of June 28, versus 20,308,681 shares as of June 14. This is about 38.9% of its float, but it is only about three days to cover.

Western Refining Inc. (NYSE: WNR) saw its short interest rise more than 13% to 21,428,218 shares of June 28, versus 18,916,057 on June 14. This is now 39.3% of its float and is about 13 days to cover.

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