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The 6 Most Shorted NYSE Stocks

The nearly eight-year old bull market endures, with markets recently hitting all-time highs. And how are short sellers reacting? Moves in the most shorted stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange between the January 31 and February 15 settlement dates were mixed and mostly mild.

However, there was a new king of the hill among the most shorted NYSE stocks, as the sellers piled on pharmaceutical giant Pfizer during the period.

Note that the top five stocks on the list all had more than 110 million shares short at the end of the most recent settlement period.


The approximately 137.21 million Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) shares short by the middle of February was a whopping 300% more than on the prior settlement date. It represented 2.3% of the conglomerate’s total float. Note that was highest level of short interest since last April, and it was over 300 million last March. As of the latest settlement date, it would take more than five days to cover all short positions.

Pfizer’s recent earnings miss was due in part to the impact of acquisitions. Its shares were up more than 5% by the end of the most recent short interest period, while the Dow was more than 3% higher in that time. The stock closed Monday at $34.28, which also was more than 5% higher than at the beginning of the year. The 52-week trading range is $28.74 to $37.39.

Chesapeake Energy

After about a 9% gain in Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s (NYSE: CHK) short interest in January, it saw another 7% or so rise in the first two weeks of this month. The around 119.37 million shares short reported most recently were 13.6% of the float. Note that short interest was about 234 million shares a year ago. As of the most recent settlement date, the days to cover...