Investors lean toward a price decline as more shares get short for various reasons. A rising short interest, or a high short interest, reflects a bearish sentiment for the underlying stock. As short interest grows, the risk of a short squeeze also grows.

  1. Short selling often involves high costs, including borrowing costs and interest on margin accounts.
  2. If you’re a short seller looking to ride the trend down, you want a smaller short interest.
  3. Short interest measures the total number of shares that have been sold short in the market.
  4. You can check for any news with sizeable short-interest stocks.
  5. This is called a short squeeze because the shorts (investors who are betting against the stock) are getting squeezed out of their positions.

In this case, we calculate the ratio by dividing the number of shares sold short by the total number of shares available for trading (the public float). Taking the other side and shorting shares of heavily shorted stocks could be a better idea but faces the issue of paying high borrow rates and the risk of short squeezes. The Tesla chart below shows the short interest ratio, the number of shares short, and the daily average trading volume. In the example, one can see that a rising short interest ratio does not always correspond to rising short interest. If a stock squeezes high enough, like squeezing up over 100% in an hour, it can trigger a forced liquidation, a margin call that automatically covers the short position at market prices.

High Short Interest Stocks

Thus, there can be a large difference between outstanding and authorized shares or floating and authorized shares. StocksToTrade in no way warrants the solvency, financial condition, or investment advisability forex quotes of any of the securities mentioned in communications or websites. In addition, StocksToTrade accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this information.

Short Selling Tips

So take all the shares short and divide them by the average daily volume. That tells you how many days it would take to cover all the shares short. Twice a month, brokers report the number of shares short sellers are borrowing. When many investors are shorting a stock, it can pressure the stock price and cause it to fall. Conversely, when many investors buy a heavily shorted stock, it can pressure the stock price and cause it to rise; this is called a short squeeze. Another way of defining the short-interest ratio is as a percentage of float.

What Part of a Company’s Float Can Be Shorted?

This means the broker will automatically repurchase the shares using market orders to cut the losses in the account. Market buy orders can result in expensive buy covers during a short squeeze. Forced liquidations can happen automatically without warning.

For this reason, it’s very critical to be aware of the maintenance margin requirements on any stock you are short. Brokers can adjust the maintenance margin abruptly during the day, so stay on top. CVNA shares short squeezed over 300%, rising from 6.33 on Jan. 27 to $19.87 on Feb. 2. However, the bearish sentiment caused shares to fall back to a mid-$6 by mid-March. CVNA shares triggered another short squeeze from $7.43 to a high of $13.70 in reaction to its earnings report on May 4. The high short interest in this stock has triggered extensive upside price spikes but reversions set in after the volume normalizes.

Those big-name, highly public financial meltdowns tend to attract a crowd, and could result in a short squeeze. Instead, look for less-well-known company collapses to short. While it is uncommon for a stock to have a short interest of more than 50%, it does happen. This was the case for Peloton Interactive, Inc. (PTON) on Feb. 28, 2020, when around 26.99 million shares were shorted (compared with a float of about 42.03 million).

For example, say a stock has one million shares in the float. Today’s short float report says there are 100,000 shares short. Yes, short sellers are typically required to pay any dividends to the lender of the stock. Therefore, a high dividend yield could discourage short selling and reduce short interest.

Let’s say that Microsoft’s short interest increased by 10% in one month. This means that there was a 10% increase in the number of people who believe the stock price will decrease. PROG’s short float is below 10% these days, and its volume allows shorts to exit positions pretty quickly.

A high short interest indicates a bearish investor sentiment in the stock. When investors short a stock, they indicate that they believe its price will fall. That can negatively pressure a stock’s price as its price follows investor sentiment. In some cases, a short squeeze can occur if a heavily shorted stock rises in price.

If a short squeeze occurs and enough short sellers buy back the stock, the price could go even higher. Unfortunately, however, this is a very difficult phenomenon to predict. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) short interest ratio is another great metric that can be used to determine the sentiment of the overall market. Short interest is calculated by dividing the number of shares sold short by the total shares outstanding. The result is expressed as a percentage, providing insight into the relative negative sentiment towards the stock. A short squeeze is one of the biggest risks to taking a short position.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Short Interest Ratio

The NYSE and Nasdaq typically disseminate short interest reports between the 9th-12th and 24th-27th days of every month. Further details on short interest reporting data are found on the FINRA website. Learn to find and trade the highest short interest stocks for the next short squeeze. Short interest as a percentage of float above 20% is considered high, and it indicates a very pessimistic sentiment.

Generally, you want to short less than 1% of the total daily volume. If a stock has a low volume, even if it looks like a good bet for a short, the risks might outweigh the potential returns. Many investors won’t short a stock with less than 500,000 shares traded daily.