The 6 Most Shorted NYSE Stocks: GE Comes Out on Top


After a modest bump in the previous period, short interest in Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) slipped only fractionally, bringing the number of its shares short to about 148.30 million at the end of the settlement period. That represented 3.8% of the total float, down from a high of more than 4% in mid-March. It would take about four days to cover all short positions.

Ford is considered one of the country’s most patriotic brands. The share price increased more than 4% early in the period but ended around 2% lower than on the previous settlement date. Ford shares have changed hands between $10.44 and $15.84 apiece in the past year. They were trading at $13.45 on Tuesday’s close, down more than 4% year to date.


Six consecutive periods of retreat, most recently by more than 3.17 million, left Alcoa Inc.’s (NYSE: AA) number of shares short at about 121.44 million by the end of the latest period. That was 9.5% of the total float. A rise in the average daily volume brought the days to cover down to about five as of the most recent settlement date.

In June, Alcoa offered details on its coming split. Its share price rose more than 11% but then gave up most of that gain in the short interest period. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had risen less than 2% by the end of the month. Alcoa shares have changed hands between $6.14 and $11.50 apiece in the past year. They closed at $10.69 on Tuesday.


The number of shares short in Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) shrank about 14% to nearly 110.39 million on the most recent settlement date, the lowest level of short interest since the beginning of the year. Some 9.0% of the miner’s float was sold short at the end of June, and it would take about three days to cover all short positions.

Freeport was expected to be a winner after the Brexit vote, and the share price ended the short interest period around 9% higher, though it was up more than 15% at one point. The stock closed most recently at $12.90 per share. The 52-week low is $3.52, well short of the 52-week high of $17.21.

And the Rest

Rounding out the top 10 were Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK), Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) and Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG). The standout here is Petrobras, with a drop in short interest while the others saw modest gains in the numbers of their shares short during the period.

Lingering just outside the top 10 were AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC).