With interest rates and worldwide markets surprisingly volatile during the supposed summer doldrums, ETF short side activity has been volatile as well.
SPY, IWM and QQQ remain the top three most shorted ETFs, as they have been for years, but there have been some changes in the rest of the constituents. There are five Bond ETF presently in the top 20, but since January the Spider Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) had 11.0 million shares ($1.19 billion) in short covering and now has $1.28 billion in total short interest. Even though there is one less fixed income ETF in the Top 20, short interest of the five that remain is $857 million larger than the six in Januaryâ€™s Top 20. Two other ETFs that are missing since January, the iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures ETF (VXX) and the Spider S&P Regional bank ETF (KRE). Replacing these three ETFs are the Spider DJIA ETF (DIA), the Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ) and the iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (IYR).