According to new data on short interest in the period which ended July 15, ten companies listed on the NYSE had short interest over 95 million shares.
First among the companies is AT&T (NYSE: T) which recently received approval from the FCC for its deal to buy DirectV for $48 billion. Perhaps because of optimism about the deal, short interest in AT&T dropped 13.3 million shares to 301.8 million.
Shares of Vale (NYSE: VALE) rose less than one million to 211.3 million. The stock of the commodity producer has been hammered by dropping prices. Its shares have fallen by about two-thirds from their 52-week high and trade at $5.
Chesapeake Energy Oklahoma (NYSE: CHK) short interest rose 9.3million during the period to 192.4 million. Falling oil prices have battered its shares to a 52-week low.
Another energy company sits in the next spot. Shares short in Petroleo Brasileiiro Petrobras (NYSE: PTR) rose 9 million to 138.3 million. The Brazil based oil firm has been decimated by both a fall in oil prices and a series of management scandals.
Next on the list is troubled wireless telecom company, Sprint (NYSE: S). Share short rose 6.2 million to 109.4 million.
Petroleum services company Transocean Ltd (NYSE: RIG) was hit by lower oil prices. Shares sold short in the company rose 6.8 million to 107.4 million.
J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP), one of weakest large retailers in America, had a short interest of 99 million, which dropped by 1.6 million to 99 million.
Another faltering energy company, Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), had a short interest which dropped less than a million shares to 98.1 million
Rounding the list of the top 10 most shorted stocks of companies which trade on the NYSE, was Ford (NYSE: F), with a short interest of 96.5 million .The car company which is in second place in terms of sales in the U.S. could be overtaken in that position soon by Toyota (NYSE: TM)