AT&T continued to reign as the most shorted stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange between the May 29 and June 15 settlement dates, even though the numbers of shares in both Sprint and Chesapeake Energy jumped by double-digit percentages. Bank of American also managed to climb back into the top 10.
Note that the top five most shorted NYSE stocks all had more than 99,000 shares short at the end of the most recent two-week settlement period.
The number of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) shares short shrank about 2.4% in the first weeks of the month, but not enough to budge it from the top of the list. The around 310.97 million shares short represented 6.0% of the float. Note that this is the lowest short interest since February. It would take about 10 days to cover all short positions. Jefferies saw AT&T as a value stock during the period, and shares rose more than 2% but then gave up that gain in early June. The stock closed Wednesday at $35.78, which was up more than 6% from the beginning of the year. The 52-week trading range is $32.07 to $37.48.
There was a 6.8% drop in the number of Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) shares short, the third period in a row of falling short interest. The mid-month reading of more than 195.19 million shares was the lowest level since early in the year. At the current average daily volume, it would take around seven days to cover all short positions. Vale’s CEO predicted rising demand in China, and its shares ended the two-week short-interest period more than 2% higher. The S&P 500 fell almost 1.5% in that time. Vale shares closed most recently at $6.40, in a 52-week range of $5.45 to $14.93.
After dwindling in the previous two periods, short interest in Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) jumped 17.0% to more than 162.13 million shares in the first weeks of June. That was 24.7% of the company’s float, but the days to cover declined to about six. Oppenheimer, formerly a bull, downgraded the stock in June, and the share price dropped about 14% between the settlement dates, as well as around another 6% since. The stock closed at $11.55 on Wednesday, a multiyear low. The 52-week high of $29.92 was reached almost a year ago.