Investing

The 6 Most Shorted NYSE Stocks: Short Sellers Cannot Let Go of AT&T

In the wake of its merger with DirecTV, AT&T seemed poised to drop out of the top 10 most shorted stocks trading on the New York Stock Exchange. But short sellers found they could not let go altogether between the August 14 and August 31 settlement dates.

Sprint was the only one among the top six to see a notable decrease in the number of shares short in the latter two weeks of the month, bringing to an end a rising streak that had lasted since April.

Note that the top six most shorted NYSE stocks all had more than 120,000 shares short at the end of the most recent two-week settlement period.

There was more than 7% increase in the number of Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) shares short during the two-week period to almost 223.43 million. That was the highest level of short interest since last April, when there was a year-to-date peak of nearly 250,000 shares. At the most recent average daily volume, it would take around nine days to cover all short positions. Vale shares ended the two-week short-interest period more than 5% lower, about the same decline as the S&P 500, but since then have recovered more strongly than the index. The stock closed most recently at $5.199, in a 52-week trading range of $4.13 to $12.73.

ALSO READ: The 6 Most Shorted Nasdaq Stocks

After rising since the end of May, short interest in Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) added another 5% to about 217.60 million shares by the end of last month. That was 33.1% of the company’s float, and the days to cover rose to about 11. Revenue was better than expected in the most recent quarter. While the share price dropped more than 19% between the settlement dates, it ended the period up more than 3%. Shares have been relatively flat since and closed at $7.59 on Thursday. The 52-week high of $25.46 was reached almost a year ago, and the $6.01 low was seen during the short interest period.

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