One of the hallmarks of a meme stock is the number of shares in the stock that are sold short. Because these stocks are volatile and trade in high volume, winners and losers show up quickly.
Research firm S3 Analytics has released its monthly short interest report for June, including the month’s winning and losing short bets. Overall, according to the firm, U.S. short sellers were down $44.49 billion in net-of-financing mark-to-market (MTM) losses last month. That works out to a loss of 3.88% on average short interest for the month of $1.15 trillion.
More than a quarter (26.3%) of short sellers’ year-to-date losses were booked in June. Year-to-date losses total $168.96 billion, down 15.45% on average short interest of $1.09 trillion. The following charts show the 10 most and least profitable short sales for the month.
U.S. Short MTM Profitable Trades
|Stock||Avg Short Interest ($)||30-day MTM Profit ($)||30-day MTM Profit (%)|
|Aon PLC (NYSE: AON)||6.9 billion||281.9 million||4.08|
|Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C)||2.2 billion||276.7 million||12.30|
|American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL)||1.9 billion||254.9 million||13.42|
|TAL Education Group (NYSE: TAL)||548 million||241.9 million||44.14|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM)||3.5 billion||226.1 million||6.44|
|Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL)||1.8 billion||225 million||12.77|
|Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE)||2.2 billion||219.7 million||10.00|
|Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ: WLTW)||1.6 billion||188.3 million||12.04|
|Upstart Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: UPST)||1.1 billion||179 million||16.12|
|Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT)||1.3 billion||151 million||11.56|
U.S. Short MTM Unprofitable Trades
|Stock||Avg Short Interest ($)||30-day MTM Loss ($)||30-day MTM Loss (%)|
|AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC)||4.3 billion||2.8 billion||−64.76|
|Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA)||24.8 billion||2.2 billion||−8.80|
|Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)||14.8 billion||1.3 billion||−8.81|
|Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ: NVDA)||5.2 billion||1.1 billion||−21.04|
|Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)||16.2 billion||1.1 billion||−6.72|
|Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT)||12.2 billion||1.0 billion||−8.47|
|Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ)||7.1 billion||831.8 million||−11.66|
|Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD)||7.1 billion||818.6 million||−11.49|
|Nio Ltd. (NYSE: NIO)||2.8 billion||735.4 million||−26.39|
|Alibaba Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BABA)||10.1 billion||734.2 million||−7.29|
S3 Analytics also assigns a “Crowded” short trade score to stocks that have some or all of the following features: a large number of dollars at risk; a high percentage of short sales to the stock’s total float; illiquidity in the trading market; and illiquidity in the stock loan market. Based on these criteria, the two most crowded short trades are Altimeter Growth with a score of 97.5 and VMware with a score of 90.
As it turns out, not every crowded stock offers a potential short squeeze. S3 Analytics “overlays” its own squeeze algorithm over the results of its crowded stock scores “to determine which U.S.-traded stocks have the highest potential” for a short squeeze. That does not mean a squeeze is certain to occur, but the chances are good. The 10 stocks with S3 squeeze scores of 100 are Skillz, Fulgent Genetics, Blink Charging, Inovio Pharma, Huya, Cortexyme, Thredup, Nikola, Workhorse and Senseonics.