In the wake of a surge of more than 21% in the previous period, short sellers shied away Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F). The latest decline in short interest was a little more than 5%, bringing the reported number of shares short to more than 133.48 million. That represents 3.4% of the total float, and it was the sixth time this year that short interest was more than 100 million shares. It still would take three days to cover all short positions, as of the latest settlement date.
Ford recently said it will launch a diesel version of its best-selling F150 for 2018. Here too the share price seesawed during the period, but it ended around 1% higher. It has retreated since the settlement date. The shares have changed hands between $10.67 and $14.04 apiece in the past year. They were trading at $11.18 on Monday’s close, which is almost 8% lower than at the beginning of the year.
Bank of America
The number of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) shares short hit a year-to-date high in the first two weeks of this month. More than 131.63 million shares were short most recently, after a rise of about 15% by mid-month. That represented 1.3% of the money center bank’s float. The average daily trading volume rose from a year-to-date low in the prior period, and the days to cover was about two.
The Trump bump has worn off for Bank of America and its peers of late. Though, its shares ended the two weeks about 5% higher, they have retreated since that time and closed most recently at $22.89 apiece. That is more than 3% higher since the beginning of the year. Bank of America shares have a 52-week trading range of $12.05 to $25.80.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) saw the number of its shares short increase nearly 9% from the previous period, and the latest reading was the greatest level so far this year. And note that the almost 128.76 million shares reported totaled 5.2% of the Chinese e-commerce giant’s float. The daily average volume jumped again during the period, and the days to cover dropped from more than nine to around four.
Alibaba is among companies expected to dominate the sharing economy. Its share price jumped more than 13% in the two-week short interest period but retreated a little by mid-month. The stock hit a 52-week high of $148.29 earlier this month but closed most recently at $142.73 a share, which is more than 62% higher year to date. The 52-week low of $73.30 was seen almost a year ago.
And the Rest
Rounding out the top 10 were Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) and General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE). A more than 19% jump in the number of shares short lifted GE back into the top 10 most shorted NYSE stocks. Moves in the other three were marginal.
Brazilian miner Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) slipped out of the top 10, and not far below it linger Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY) and Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P).
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