Get 40% Off
⚠ Earnings Alert! Which stocks are poised to surge?
See the stocks on our ProPicks radar. These strategies gained 19.7% year-to-date.
Unlock full list

US stock short sellers down $145 billion in 2023 - Ortex

Published 12/15/2023, 05:39 PM
Updated 12/15/2023, 05:41 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 15, 2023.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A late-year surge in stocks is exacerbating the pain of short-sellers, who are on track for their worst collective annual loss since 2020, according to data and analytics company Ortex.

Short sellers - who aim to profit by selling borrowed shares and buying them back later at a lower price - are down over $145 billion for the year, according to an Ortex analysis of short interest in 1,500 U.S. stocks.

The losses have come in the face of a rally that has ramped up in the fourth quarter on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates and will likely pivot to cuts next year. The index is up 22.9% year-to-date and around 2% away from a record high.

"2023 has seen huge losses for short sellers," said Peter Hillerberg, co-founder of Ortex, said.

Short interest rose by $9.8 billion for the year, suggesting that investors were reluctant to double down in their bearish bets, Hillerberg said.

By contrast, short interest rose by $95.84 billion in 2020, when short sellers racked up $182.65 billion in losses, Ortex data showed.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 15, 2023.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Short interest has stayed roughly consistent throughout the year, Ortex data showed. The unweighted average short interest as a percentage of free float on the stocks tracked by the firm stands at 4.75%. That is toward the higher end of this year’s range of 4% to 4.75%.

On Friday, the S&P 500 finished about flat on the day but up 2.3% for the week, its seventh straight weekly gain, the longest such streak in six years.

Latest comments

lol tell that to MMAT and MMTLP!
Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.