> Shares short: Nearly 127.78 million
> Change from prior period: −11.9%
> Percentage of float: 21.6
This shrinkage in the number of its shares short allowed Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) to slip a couple of places on the list. The prior figure was the highest level of social media and camera company’s short interest in at least a year. At the mid-month daily average trading volume, it would take about three days for investors to cover all short positions.
The company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results between the settlement dates. The shares ended the latest short interest period more than 34% higher, almost all that gain coming in the wake of the earnings report.
The shares were last seen trading at $9.81 apiece. That compares to the 52-week low of $4.82 reached back in December. The 52-week high, seen almost a year ago, was $18.51 a share. The stock now is up more than 77% since the start of the year.
> Shares short: Almost 125.96 million
> Change from prior period: +7.5%
> Percentage of float: 1.5
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) also slipped down the list despite the gain in the number of its short shares in the first two weeks of this month. Note that the previous reading was the lowest level of short interest since last September. At the daily average trading volume on the most recent settlement date, the days to cover remained at less than one.
We recently identified GE as a “fallen angel” stock with huge upside potential. The shares ended the two weeks about 10% higher, though it had been up over 13% earlier in the period. In the initial two weeks of this month, the Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 3%.
GE’s shares were closed at $10.88 on Wednesday, which is up from a multiyear low of $6.40 reached in the first half of December. The 52-week high, seen last spring, was $14.99 a share. The stock has gained more than 49% since the beginning of 2019.
> Shares short: More than 125.29 million
> Change from prior period: +12.5%
> Percentage of float: 11.9
Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) returns to the top six most shorted NYSE stocks with this notable gain. The latest reading was the greatest number of shares short so far this year. At the daily average volume during the most recent period, it would take about 10 days for investors to cover all short positions.
Rite Aid plans a reverse stock split in order to avoid being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Short sellers watched its share price bounce from down more than 8% to up over 3% but end by the latest settlement date only fractionally lower. The stock has retreated since then.
It closed most recently at about $0.76 a share, which is around 31% lower than 90 days ago. The shares have changed hands as low as $0.60 and as high as $2.12 apiece in the past 52 weeks, with that low posted just after last Christmas.
And the Rest
Rounding out the top 10 were Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP), CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC). Alibaba is the only one of these that saw an increase in short interest in those two weeks. CenturyLink is the only one that was not in the top six in the prior period.
Lingering outside the spotlight of the top 10 most shorted NYSE stocks was Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) Energy Transfer L.P. (NYSE: ET) and Weatherford International PLC (NYSE: WFT).
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