S&P 500   4,464.05
DOW   35,281.40
QQQ   366.24
Biden and House Democrats hope to make curbing 'junk fees' a winning issue in 2024
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
Yes, inflation is down. No, the Inflation Reduction Act doesn't deserve the credit
Stock market today: Asia follows Wall Street lower after US data revive fears about rate hike
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
Illinois governor signs ban on firearms advertising allegedly marketed to kids and militants
Don't expect quick fixes in 'red-teaming' of AI models. Security was an afterthought
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
US Steel rejects a $7.3 billion offer from rival Cleveland-Cliffs; considers alternatives
Don't expect quick fixes in 'red-teaming' of AI models. Security was an afterthought
S&P 500   4,464.05
DOW   35,281.40
QQQ   366.24
Biden and House Democrats hope to make curbing 'junk fees' a winning issue in 2024
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
Yes, inflation is down. No, the Inflation Reduction Act doesn't deserve the credit
Stock market today: Asia follows Wall Street lower after US data revive fears about rate hike
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
Illinois governor signs ban on firearms advertising allegedly marketed to kids and militants
Don't expect quick fixes in 'red-teaming' of AI models. Security was an afterthought
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
US Steel rejects a $7.3 billion offer from rival Cleveland-Cliffs; considers alternatives
Don't expect quick fixes in 'red-teaming' of AI models. Security was an afterthought
S&P 500   4,464.05
DOW   35,281.40
QQQ   366.24
Biden and House Democrats hope to make curbing 'junk fees' a winning issue in 2024
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
Yes, inflation is down. No, the Inflation Reduction Act doesn't deserve the credit
Stock market today: Asia follows Wall Street lower after US data revive fears about rate hike
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
Illinois governor signs ban on firearms advertising allegedly marketed to kids and militants
Don't expect quick fixes in 'red-teaming' of AI models. Security was an afterthought
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
US Steel rejects a $7.3 billion offer from rival Cleveland-Cliffs; considers alternatives
Don't expect quick fixes in 'red-teaming' of AI models. Security was an afterthought
S&P 500   4,464.05
DOW   35,281.40
QQQ   366.24
Biden and House Democrats hope to make curbing 'junk fees' a winning issue in 2024
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
Yes, inflation is down. No, the Inflation Reduction Act doesn't deserve the credit
Stock market today: Asia follows Wall Street lower after US data revive fears about rate hike
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
Illinois governor signs ban on firearms advertising allegedly marketed to kids and militants
Don't expect quick fixes in 'red-teaming' of AI models. Security was an afterthought
The single greatest medical breakthrough of all time? (Ad)
US Steel rejects a $7.3 billion offer from rival Cleveland-Cliffs; considers alternatives
Don't expect quick fixes in 'red-teaming' of AI models. Security was an afterthought

Highest Short Interest Stocks

Shares that are sold "short" are borrowed then sold with the hopes that the share price will drop before the shares that were borrowed have to be repurchased and returned. A large amount of short interest indicates that some investors believe a stock's price will decline in the near future. "Short" shares can also serve as a hedge for investors that have purchased a large number of shares of a company thinking that the share price will rise over time. This page lists stocks that currently have the highest levels of short interest. Learn more about short interest.

View publication schedule for short interest reports

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CompanyShares Sold Short (7/31/2023)Dollar Volume
Sold Short
Shares Sold Short (7/15/2023)Change from Previous ReportDays to Cover% of Float
% of Total
Shares Shorted
Charter Communications, Inc. stock logo
Charter Communications
8,250,000 shs $3.34 billion 8,430,000 shs-180,000 shs
Occidental Petroleum Co. stock logo
Occidental Petroleum
45,630,000 shs $2.88 billion 48,100,000 shs-2,470,000 shs
4.35.2%4.9%Analyst Downgrade
Options Volume
Coinbase Global, Inc. stock logo
Coinbase Global
25,330,000 shs $2.50 billion 35,590,000 shs-10,260,000 shs
1.614.5%N/AShort Interest ↓
Rivian Automotive, Inc. stock logo
Rivian Automotive
89,320,000 shs $2.47 billion 92,210,000 shs-2,890,000 shs
1.813.6%N/AEarnings Report
Analyst Upgrade
Palantir Technologies Inc. stock logo
Palantir Technologies
119,440,000 shs $2.37 billion 124,360,000 shs-4,920,000 shs
1.46.8%6.6%Analyst Revision
Gap Down
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. stock logo
Royal Caribbean Cruises
21,350,000 shs $2.33 billion 20,960,000 shs+390,000 shs
5.89.1%8.4%Analyst Revision
T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. stock logo
T. Rowe Price Group
18,600,000 shs $2.29 billion 18,270,000 shs+330,000 shs
Tractor Supply stock logo
Tractor Supply
7,090,000 shs $1.59 billion 7,510,000 shs-420,000 shs
5.46.5%6.2%Dividend Announcement
Analyst Revision
Upstart Holdings, Inc. stock logo
22,980,000 shs $1.58 billion 25,860,000 shs-2,880,000 shs
Enphase Energy, Inc. stock logo
Enphase Energy
10,040,000 shs $1.52 billion 9,320,000 shs+720,000 shs
2.67.6%7.4%Short Interest ↑
Celsius Holdings, Inc. stock logo
10,380,000 shs $1.50 billion 10,500,000 shs-120,000 shs
7.424.7%14.4%Earnings Report
Analyst Revision
CarMax, Inc. stock logo
18,090,000 shs $1.49 billion 17,950,000 shs+140,000 shs
10.811.5%11.1%Positive News
Floor & Decor Holdings, Inc. stock logo
Floor & Decor
12,920,000 shs $1.48 billion 12,660,000 shs+260,000 shs
Pool Co. stock logo
3,850,000 shs $1.48 billion 4,060,000 shs-210,000 shs
Plug Power Inc. stock logo
Plug Power
111,750,000 shs $1.47 billion 127,120,000 shs-15,370,000 shs
4.320.9%19.7%Earnings Report
Analyst Report
Analyst Revision
Super Micro Computer, Inc. stock logo
Super Micro Computer
4,310,000 shs $1.42 billion 4,770,000 shs-460,000 shs
1.59.5%8.6%Insider Buying
Gap Down
Lucid Group, Inc. stock logo
Lucid Group
184,370,000 shs $1.40 billion 167,770,000 shs+16,600,000 shs
445.4%N/AEarnings Report
Analyst Downgrade
Short Interest ↑
Gap Down
DoorDash, Inc. stock logo
14,940,000 shs $1.36 billion 16,640,000 shs-1,700,000 shs
4.45.9%5.1%Short Interest ↓
SoFi Technologies, Inc. stock logo
SoFi Technologies
114,370,000 shs $1.31 billion 123,740,000 shs-9,370,000 shs
2.113.3%N/AGap Down
C3.ai, Inc. stock logo
30,760,000 shs $1.29 billion 32,800,000 shs-2,040,000 shs
132.0%31.6%Short Interest ↓
Zoom Video Communications, Inc. stock logo
Zoom Video Communications
17,130,000 shs $1.26 billion 18,770,000 shs-1,640,000 shs
4.47.7%7.2%Upcoming Earnings
Paramount Global stock logo
Paramount Global
76,380,000 shs $1.22 billion 77,490,000 shs-1,110,000 shs
5.413.2%N/AEarnings Report
C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. stock logo
C.H. Robinson Worldwide
11,860,000 shs $1.19 billion 13,060,000 shs-1,200,000 shs
11.310.3%9.0%Dividend Announcement
Short Interest ↓
Positive News
RH stock logo
3,010,000 shs $1.17 billion 2,960,000 shs+50,000 shs
Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. stock logo
Live Nation Entertainment
13,260,000 shs $1.16 billion 13,740,000 shs-480,000 shs
69.3%6.1%Analyst Revision
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. stock logo
Walgreens Boots Alliance
38,510,000 shs $1.15 billion 37,240,000 shs+1,270,000 shs
4.35.4%4.5%Positive News
Wolfspeed, Inc. stock logo
16,800,000 shs $1.11 billion 19,420,000 shs-2,620,000 shs
5.913.6%N/AUpcoming Earnings
Lattice Semiconductor Co. stock logo
Lattice Semiconductor
12,170,000 shs $1.11 billion 12,550,000 shs-380,000 shs
Etsy, Inc. stock logo
10,420,000 shs $1.06 billion 11,470,000 shs-1,050,000 shs
3.18.5%8.2%Short Interest ↓
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. stock logo
7,410,000 shs $1.03 billion 8,030,000 shs-620,000 shs
DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. stock logo
DICK'S Sporting Goods
7,120,000 shs $1.00 billion 7,290,000 shs-170,000 shs
Repligen Co. stock logo
5,500,000 shs $943.58 million 5,390,000 shs+110,000 shs
Zscaler, Inc. stock logo
5,730,000 shs $918.98 million 6,700,000 shs-970,000 shs
Zillow Group, Inc. stock logo
Zillow Group
16,570,000 shs $897.43 million 17,310,000 shs-740,000 shs
Unity Software Inc. stock logo
Unity Software
19,410,000 shs $889.95 million 20,540,000 shs-1,130,000 shs
Waters Co. stock logo
3,160,000 shs $873.23 million 3,000,000 shs+160,000 shs
Omnicom Group Inc. stock logo
Omnicom Group
9,950,000 shs $841.97 million 11,230,000 shs-1,280,000 shs
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. stock logo
Sirius XM
160,360,000 shs $817.84 million 200,030,000 shs-39,670,000 shs
7.224.8%N/AShort Interest ↓
Analyst Revision
Chesapeake Energy Co. stock logo
Chesapeake Energy
9,670,000 shs $815.57 million 9,210,000 shs+460,000 shs
7.48.7%N/AAnalyst Revision
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. stock logo
Check Point Software Technologies
5,950,000 shs $786.65 million 5,830,000 shs+120,000 shs
6.46.2%4.3%Analyst Revision
Positive News
Seagate Technology Holdings plc stock logo
Seagate Technology
12,310,000 shs $781.69 million 9,700,000 shs+2,610,000 shs
5.36.0%5.4%Short Interest ↑
Analyst Revision
Five Below, Inc. stock logo
Five Below
3,750,000 shs $781.28 million 3,850,000 shs-100,000 shs
UiPath Inc. stock logo
43,030,000 shs $777.77 million 41,380,000 shs+1,650,000 shs
4.110.5%N/AGap Down
Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. stock logo
Stanley Black & Decker
7,710,000 shs $765.37 million 8,830,000 shs-1,120,000 shs
4.75.1%4.8%Analyst Downgrade
Helen of Troy Limited stock logo
Helen of Troy
5,390,000 shs $761.61 million 5,400,000 shs-10,000 shs
Snap Inc. stock logo
66,770,000 shs $758.51 million 69,250,000 shs-2,480,000 shs
2.56.7%5.3%Positive News
Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. stock logo
Host Hotels & Resorts
41,130,000 shs $756.79 million 36,600,000 shs+4,530,000 shs
6.25.9%5.8%Short Interest ↑
Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. stock logo
Sprouts Farmers Market
19,200,000 shs $753.60 million 19,600,000 shs-400,000 shs
11.819.0%16.3%Analyst Downgrade
Insider Selling
Celanese Co. stock logo
5,910,000 shs $740.94 million 5,120,000 shs+790,000 shs
45.5%5.2%Earnings Report
Analyst Report
Short Interest ↑
Analyst Revision
11,550,000 shs $735.62 million 11,640,000 shs-90,000 shs
7.215.0%N/AGap Down
Enovix Co. stock logo
34,040,000 shs $732.54 million 34,140,000 shs-100,000 shs
4.928.6%N/AInsider Selling
Gap Down
Whirlpool Co. stock logo
5,070,000 shs $731.40 million 4,740,000 shs+330,000 shs
Ralph Lauren Co. stock logo
Ralph Lauren
5,560,000 shs $730.19 million 5,880,000 shs-320,000 shs
5.814.1%11.5%Earnings Report
Analyst Report
Analyst Revision
agilon health, inc. stock logo
agilon health
38,080,000 shs $729.42 million 39,320,000 shs-1,240,000 shs
Affirm Holdings, Inc. stock logo
35,440,000 shs $687.18 million 38,690,000 shs-3,250,000 shs
2.116.8%N/AShort Interest ↓
Positive News
Polaris Inc. stock logo
5,040,000 shs $684.48 million 5,250,000 shs-210,000 shs
Generac Holdings Inc. stock logo
4,430,000 shs $680.89 million 4,730,000 shs-300,000 shs
3.27.2%7.0%Short Interest ↓
Confluent, Inc. stock logo
19,420,000 shs $670.77 million 20,590,000 shs-1,170,000 shs
Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. stock logo
Reata Pharmaceuticals
4,040,000 shs $668.94 million 3,830,000 shs+210,000 shs
Encore Wire Co. stock logo
Encore Wire
3,840,000 shs $655.45 million 3,270,000 shs+570,000 shs
15.424.2%18.6%Dividend Announcement
Short Interest ↑
AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. stock logo
AMN Healthcare Services
6,100,000 shs $653.55 million 6,080,000 shs+20,000 shs
Atkore Inc. stock logo
4,090,000 shs $648.96 million 4,410,000 shs-320,000 shs
9.310.7%8.7%Earnings Report
Short Interest ↓
The Carlyle Group Inc. stock logo
The Carlyle Group
18,050,000 shs $643.48 million 20,290,000 shs-2,240,000 shs
6.99.4%5.1%Analyst Downgrade
Short Interest ↓
Positive News
Avis Budget Group, Inc. stock logo
Avis Budget Group
2,870,000 shs $632.23 million 2,670,000 shs+200,000 shs
6.37.6%4.1%Positive News
Ceridian HCM Holding Inc. stock logo
Ceridian HCM
8,900,000 shs $630.21 million 10,320,000 shs-1,420,000 shs
6.26.0%N/AShort Interest ↓
Lyft, Inc. stock logo
49,560,000 shs $629.91 million 44,110,000 shs+5,450,000 shs
Wynn Resorts, Limited stock logo
Wynn Resorts
5,650,000 shs $615.74 million 5,690,000 shs-40,000 shs
2.55.9%4.9%Earnings Report
Dividend Announcement
Bank OZK stock logo
Bank OZK
14,020,000 shs $613.09 million 14,370,000 shs-350,000 shs
Zions Bancorporation, National Association stock logo
Zions Bancorporation, National Association
16,010,000 shs $612.38 million 16,080,000 shs-70,000 shs
3.311.0%9.8%Positive News
SL Green Realty Corp. stock logo
SL Green Realty
16,090,000 shs $606.75 million 15,960,000 shs+130,000 shs
AutoNation, Inc. stock logo
3,770,000 shs $606.71 million 3,650,000 shs+120,000 shs
Campbell Soup stock logo
Campbell Soup
13,150,000 shs $602.53 million 14,400,000 shs-1,250,000 shs
4.96.7%4.3%Short Interest ↓
Choice Hotels International, Inc. stock logo
Choice Hotels International
4,590,000 shs $600.05 million 5,300,000 shs-710,000 shs
8.714.9%8.3%Earnings Report
Short Interest ↓
Murphy USA Inc. stock logo
Murphy USA
1,940,000 shs $595.46 million 1,930,000 shs+10,000 shs
Ovintiv Inc. stock logo
12,560,000 shs $579.14 million 14,060,000 shs-1,500,000 shs
3.15.3%N/AAnalyst Revision
Positive News
Dropbox, Inc. stock logo
21,330,000 shs $574.84 million 23,090,000 shs-1,760,000 shs
4.58.3%6.7%Short Interest ↓
On Holding AG stock logo
15,910,000 shs $572.76 million 17,390,000 shs-1,480,000 shs
3.88.6%N/AUpcoming Earnings
Analyst Report
ChargePoint Holdings, Inc. stock logo
65,550,000 shs $567.99 million 62,550,000 shs+3,000,000 shs
Group 1 Automotive, Inc. stock logo
Group 1 Automotive
2,170,000 shs $560.84 million 2,190,000 shs-20,000 shs
13.716.0%11.9%Insider Selling
Analyst Revision
THOR Industries, Inc. stock logo
THOR Industries
4,820,000 shs $556.32 million 5,130,000 shs-310,000 shs
Academy Sports and Outdoors, Inc. stock logo
Academy Sports and Outdoors
9,070,000 shs $542.30 million 9,760,000 shs-690,000 shs
Trex Company, Inc. stock logo
7,840,000 shs $541.82 million 8,070,000 shs-230,000 shs
Futu Holdings Limited stock logo
8,990,000 shs $541.20 million 8,480,000 shs+510,000 shs
4.411.4%10.6%Short Interest ↑
Gap Down
Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings, Inc. stock logo
Ginkgo Bioworks
214,590,000 shs $538.62 million 217,710,000 shs-3,120,000 shs
9.117.2%N/AAnalyst Revision
Crocs, Inc. stock logo
4,970,000 shs $538.50 million 5,490,000 shs-520,000 shs
2.68.4%7.6%Insider Buying
Robert Half Inc. stock logo
Robert Half
7,250,000 shs $537.73 million 6,990,000 shs+260,000 shs
6.67.0%6.4%Analyst Revision
MarketAxess Holdings Inc. stock logo
1,990,000 shs $535.75 million 1,990,000 shsNo Change5.45.4%5.2%
Sunnova Energy International Inc. stock logo
Sunnova Energy International
30,190,000 shs $533.31 million 28,790,000 shs+1,400,000 shs
Penske Automotive Group, Inc. stock logo
Penske Automotive Group
3,280,000 shs $529.44 million 3,380,000 shs-100,000 shs
8.517.6%4.1%Insider Selling
Analyst Revision
Kohl's Co. stock logo
18,540,000 shs $527.46 million 20,490,000 shs-1,950,000 shs
3.817.6%11.9%Dividend Announcement
Short Interest ↓
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. stock logo
29,860,000 shs $527.18 million 31,240,000 shs-1,380,000 shs
CNX Resources Co. stock logo
CNX Resources
25,550,000 shs $521.22 million 25,970,000 shs-420,000 shs
8.716.3%11.6%Positive News
BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. stock logo
BJ's Wholesale Club
7,850,000 shs $520.46 million 8,150,000 shs-300,000 shs
Hasbro, Inc. stock logo
7,980,000 shs $515.19 million 7,400,000 shs+580,000 shs
5.16.2%5.8%Short Interest ↑
Luminar Technologies, Inc. stock logo
Luminar Technologies
69,000,000 shs $510.60 million 64,530,000 shs+4,470,000 shs
8.930.1%29.4%Short Interest ↑
BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. stock logo
BridgeBio Pharma
14,430,000 shs $505.19 million 14,820,000 shs-390,000 shs
4.712.3%9.7%Positive News
Antero Resources Co. stock logo
Antero Resources
18,860,000 shs $504.51 million 17,960,000 shs+900,000 shs
3.37.2%6.2%Short Interest ↑
Matador Resources stock logo
Matador Resources
8,960,000 shs $498.44 million 8,660,000 shs+300,000 shs
Fox Co. stock logo
14,890,000 shs $498.07 million 15,420,000 shs-530,000 shs
3.45.6%4.5%Earnings Report
Dividend Increase
Analyst Revision
Range Resources Co. stock logo
Range Resources
15,730,000 shs $494.55 million 12,680,000 shs+3,050,000 shs
4.16.7%6.1%Analyst Report
Short Interest ↑

Key Points

  • Stocks with high short interest have a higher chance of a short squeeze.
  • High short interest above 20% indicates bearish or negative investor sentiment.
  • Short selling can have unlimited losses as a stock can rise indefinitely, whereas a long position can only go to zero.
  • 5 stocks we like better than EXA)

When a stock price rises rapidly during the day, some news catalyst usually drives the share higher. Buying pressures cause stock prices to rise when demand outstrips supply. The price rise can get extreme at times as prices may rise parabolically. 

While the news may be responsible for the move, it may be magnified by a short squeeze. Short sellers may be forced to cover their positions by buying too close, which propels shares higher in the process. A good indicator of the short squeeze potential for any stock is its short interest. What is short interest? In this article, we will review what you need to know about short interest and how to track it and use it for trading and investing. 

Overview of Short Interest 

Short interest indicates how many shares of stock remain short or are sold short and haven't been covered yet. It's important to know what it means to short sell a stock. Typically, investors tend to buy stocks taking a long position. You can profit if the stock price rises above your entry price. You lose money if the stock price falls below your entry price. You lock in and cash in your profits by selling your long position. This naturally causes some selling pressure. If too many people sell the stock, the price can fall lower. 

When you short a stock, you are selling it first, hoping for the price to fall so you can repurchase it at a lower price. The stock must be shortable, and then the shares are borrowed from the broker, who goes through a clearinghouse and lends it to you. Remember that not all stocks are shortable. 

To return to the broker, you borrow shares to sell and repurchase them, preferably at a lower price. The lower the price falls below your sell price, the more profits you can make. You cover the short to lock in your profits, which means buying back the stock. Covering a short position causes buying pressure. If too many short sellers cover simultaneously, the buying pressure can cause shares to rise rapidly, triggering a short squeeze.

A short squeeze is a real phenomenon where a stock's price rises sharply on heavy volume, forcing other short sellers to cover their short position to avoid further losses. Buying to cover perpetuates the price rise as more short sellers cover their position in a panic as the price continues to rise from the buying pressure. Short squeezes trigger when unexpected favorable news, rumors or events make the news wires. They can build up and accelerate as the stock price rises. A high short interest indicates a bearish investor sentiment in the stock. 

The odds of a short squeeze are higher for stocks with the highest short interest. Consumer discretionary stocks tend to have a higher short interest than consumer staples stocks. A high short interest can trigger a short squeeze which would cause the underlying price to move to rise faster and higher than if it had a low short interest. The rule of thumb is that stocks with the highest short interest have the highest probability of a short squeeze. Short interest can be listed by the number of shares that are short or a percentage of the outstanding shares or the float that are short. 

Blue-chip stocks tend to have a low short interest. It's crucial to be aware of an ex-dividend date if shorting a dividend stock because you will have to pay the dividend if you do. Yes, the dividend payment comes out of your pocket if you hold a short position on a dividend stock through its ex-dividend date. This is very important for traders who think they can get easy short-selling profits since dividend stocks gap down the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date. Blue-chip stocks with a dividend tend to have some of the lowest short interest in the market.

Highest short interest stocks overview infographic

Why Do Investors Short Sell?

What would compel someone to expect a stock price to fall? That's the real question when asking why investors and traders short sell a stock. There are many reasons to sell a stock short, but truly only one real motive for doing it. To make money off the stock price falling lower and profit from the price decline. The reasons for shorting a stock can range from bad news like a weak earnings report or lowered guidance or losing court cases, or analyst downgrading to accounting irregularities and short-seller reports. 

The other motive could be to hedge a long position of a like stock or company. Most brokers don't allow you to go long and short the same stock in your account. This is called shorting the box. However, you can consider shorting a similar stock to your long position or a benchmark index, depending on how well it's correlated with them. If you have more than one broker, consider hedging a long position in one account with a short position of the same stock in another.

What Does Short Interest Signal? 

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. Typically, stocks with a high short interest have a negative sentiment that depresses share prices. 

Often, stocks with high short interest have fundamental problems like falling sales, falling profits, falling margins, accounting irregularities and potential fraud. A stock that rises too fast may invite short sellers who feel the price rise isn't justified or is artificial and expect the stock price to come back down. 

How to Use Short Interest

You can use short interest in many ways. A high short interest implies a bearish or negative sentiment in the stock. The high short interest may result in a higher extended price due to the short sellers being forced to cover. You can consider joining in on the short if shares are borrowable. Conversely, consider trading the long position when favorable news hits the wires.

Short interest helps you gauge the market sentiment for a particular stock. The bearish sentiment can depress stock prices in the longer term, while short squeezes can happen soon. You may want to avoid high short interest stocks in your long-term portfolio.

Example of a High Short Interest Stock

Many investors consider a short interest of 10% of the float or higher to be a high short interest. Most investors will agree that a 20% or higher short interest is considered a high short interest. Here is an example of a stock with a high short interest.

Short interest overview of Carvana on MarketBeat

Carvana Co. (NASDAQ: CVNA) is a nationwide vending machine user car dealer. It enables car buyers to shop, trade for cars and pick up their purchases at over 30 vending machine locations in the U.S. The concept and potential seemed incredible in the pandemic reopening as shares skyrocketed to $376.83 on a short squeeze in August 2021. However, the reality proved otherwise as revenues sank and losses grew, sending shares down on bankruptcy fears to a low of $3.55 in December 2022. 

Shares were able to rally from the lows to a high of $19.87 in February 2023 on a short squeeze. The 25.86% short interest caused the bounces to move in double-digit percentages on a short squeeze, keeping the bears on their toes.

Carvana short squeeze

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.

How to Use the MarketBeat Short Interest Tracker

Look at how to use the MarketBeat Short Interest Tracker below.

Overview of how to use MarketBeat's short interest tracker

Step 1: Sort the criteria.

Use the MarketBeat Highest Short Interest tool and select the criteria to sort the list. You can find the stocks with the highest short interest on MarketBeat. The list identifies the highest short-interest stocks. The list is sorted by dollar volume sold short, but can also be sorted by "shares sold short," "change from the previous report," "days to cover," "percentage of float shorted" and "percentage of total shares shorted." Just click the specific heading to rearrange the list by that heading. You can check for any news with sizeable short-interest stocks.

Step 2: Select a direction.

After you select the stocks to trade:

  1. Determine the direction.
  2. If you plan to make a trade, decide whether you want to consider a long or short position.
  3. Be careful not to assume that a high short interest will result in a squeeze.

Stocks have a high short interest for a reason, and enough participants are skeptical enough to warrant putting their money where their mouth is with shares sold short. Don't assume that companies with high short interest will automatically trigger a short squeeze.

Step 3: Perform research.

Do your fundamental research on the company operations by reading the recent 10-K, conference call transcripts, press release and analyst reports. Do technical analysis with charts to determine the price trend, support and resistance levels. These are levels for entry and exit. Plan your trade using these levels for entry, profit and stop losses.

Step 4: Place and manage the trade.

Stick to your trading plan. Place your limit order(s) for entry either on the long or the short side. If shorting, confirm borrowable shares and note the maintenance margin requirement. It's crucial to keep a stop loss when shorting a stock to avoid more minor losses turning into massive losses that could blow out your account. Execute the trade and continue to monitor and manage it. Be sure to take your exits as price levels are high, either on the upside or the downside. 

What is a Short Squeeze?

A short squeeze is a phenomenon where a stock's price spikes sharply, rapidly and extensively, forcing short sellers to buy shares to cover their positions to avoid more significant losses. As share prices rise, the value of their short position may rise beyond the margin limits. This can trigger a margin call, which requires the trader to deposit more capital into the account or buy back shares to cover some or all of the short positions and take the losses. All short selling is done with a margin account. You can only borrow shares in a margin account. 

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. 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.

Risks of Short Selling

The most significant risk of short selling is the unlimited loss potential of a short position that goes against you. With long positions, you can only lose the amount you bought in the stock. If you buy at $32, you can only lose ($32) per share if it goes to zero, theoretically. However, if you short sell a stock at $32, it can keep rising and mounting up unlimited losses. A great example is video game retailer GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME). The stock short squeezed from $4.75 on Jan. 11, 2021, to a high of $120.75 (split adjusted) on Jan. 25, 2021. GME had a short interest of 140%, which implies a large percentage of illegal naked shorts. Naked shorts happen when a stock is shorted without actually borrowing the shares. 

GME kicked off the "meme stock" mania triggering short squeezes on various other stocks with high short interests like AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), which rallied from $5.87 to $44.61 (split adjusted) in two weeks. 

Don't Rely Solely on Short Interest Alone

The meme stock mania of 2021 instilled the belief that all stocks with a high short interest were destined to short squeeze higher. However, the meme stock mania transformed into the meme stock bubble as almost every high short interest stock that rallied to highs in 2021 eventually sold off back down to the lows by mid-to-late 2022. The moral of this cautionary tale is not to rely solely on a high short interest to go long, expecting a short squeeze to propel the stock higher. Stocks with a high short interest often fall lower after periods of a short squeeze. 


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about "What is short interest in stocks?"

What does short interest tell you?

Short interest tells you the investor sentiment on the underlying stock. A high short interest above 20% indicates investors are bearish, while a low short interest under 5% indicates bullish investor sentiment. If you can spot what stock has the highest short interest, you may witness a short squeeze on favorable news.

Is low short interest good or bad?

Low short interest indicates a bullish sentiment for the underlying stock. It indicates the absence of bears compared to bulls. As an investor, low short interest is a good sign and indicator of bullishness in the stock. 

What is short vs. long interest?

Short interest indicates the level of bearishness in the stock. There isn't a direct indicator called long interest in a stock. However, you can do the math and subtract short interest from the total float, percentage of the float or outstanding shares to determine the long interest. For example, if the short interest is 25%, then one can assume the long interest is 75%.

Jea Yu

About Jea Yu

Contributing Author: Trading Strategies

With over 20 years of active participation and analysis of the US equities, options and futures markets, Mr. Yu brings fresh insights into the workings of the financial markets. He has published four books by esteemed publishers McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, Marketplace Books and Bloomberg Press. His brainchild, the Underground Trader, was voted Forbes Best of the Web for four consecutive years under the active trader category. He has been a featured speaker all over the country at various expos and seminars who enjoys a standing-room-only reception in the largest convention halls from New York to Las Vegas. He has been quoted and featured in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Traders Magazine and the Financial Times and various trade publications like Stocks & Commodities, Active Trader and Online Investor. Mr. Yu has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and minor in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.
Contact Jea Yu via email at JeaYu21@gmail.com.

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