What Is Short Interest?

What Is Short Interest?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

Short Interest is a market-sentiment indicator that tells you how many shares of a particular stock have been sold short but have not yet been covered or closed out. In simpler words, it’s the total number of shares that investors have sold short but are yet to buy back. It can be viewed as an indication of the prevailing sentiment about a company‚Äôs success among investors. A high short interest shows a bearish market sentiment with a prediction of a price decrease, while a low short interest indicates a bullish market sentiment.

Related Questions

1. How is short interest calculated?

Short interest is calculated by dividing the total number of shares sold short by the total shares outstanding. The result is often expressed as a percentage. For example, if there are 1 million shares outstanding and 100,000 shares have been sold short, the short interest would be 10%.

2. Why is short interest important?

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Short interest is a useful market sentiment tool for traders and investors. It can help you understand the level of pessimism or optimism towards a particular stock. Higher short interest suggests that more investors believe a stock’s price will decline.

3. Can short interest exceed 100%?

Yes, short interest can exceed 100%. This happens when more shares are shorted than the number of shares available in the market. It typically occurs in scenarios where a stock is highly shorted and investors hold onto their shares instead of selling them.

4. What is a short squeeze?

A short squeeze is a rapid increase in the price of a stock primarily due to technical factors in the market rather than underlying fundamentals. When a stock with high short interest starts to increase in price, short sellers may need to buy shares to cover their positions, driving the price up further.

5. How can I find short interest data?

Short interest data can often be found on financial news websites, from market data providers, and sometimes directly from exchanges. This data is usually updated twice a month.