We are tracking $828 billion of Short Interest in the domestic equity market and with the S&P 500 down -0.48% and the Nasdaq down -1.22% we would expect an increase short interest balances this week. Overall, we saw $2.2 billion in net short selling this week as short sellers increased their short exposure on two thirds of the 8,501 stocks that we covered this week.
The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Russell 3000 were up +3.57%, +4.60% and +3.53% over the last thirty days and as expected with the year-long rally continuing short sellers were not piling into the short side of the market. U.S. equity (ex ETFs and ADRs) short interest is $757.1 billion, an increase of $29.5 billion, or +4.06%, over the last thirty days which tells us the rise on overall U.S. market short exposure was mainly due to mark-to-market share price increases and not an overall bump up in short selling.
Weâ€™ve just published our initial UBER short interest numbers:
UBER short interest is $768 million; 20.71 million shares short; 11.51% of its float; stock borrow rates are in the 3% to 5% fee level.
We expect UBER short interest to increase over the next several days as short sellers continue to be active. If short interest does continue to climb we can expect short borrow rates to rise in lockstep and reach double digit fees over the next day or two. As with most IPOâ€™s, the cost to borrow climbs steadily over the first week to two weeks until shares settle, and lending inventory replenishes. LYFT stock borrow rates hit over 100% fee early on and with two weeks fell to below 5% fee.
With the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, better known as the VIX Index, nearing year-to-date highs we would expect short selling in VIX related ETFâ€™s and ETNâ€™s to not only be active, but also trend significantly upwards as traders and portfolio managers sell volatility. While we are seeing a slight bump up of VXX ETF short selling over the last several days, we are not seeing the increase in short selling in the remaining eight actively shorted VIX ETFâ€™s\ETNâ€™s that we observed at the start of both 2018 vol spikes.
Short selling in Qualcomm Inc (QCOM) continues to increase after the April 16th announcement of their legal settlement with Apple Inc (AAPL.) QCOM shares shorted have increased by 14.1 million shares, +76%, since the settlement even though its stock price has jumped by over $29/share, +51%.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst George Staphos issued a research report stating that March containerboard and box shipments declined by 3% year-over-year and industry wide inventories were declining at a lesser rate than deliveries. Containerboard purchases fell and supply\production is running ahead of demand.
Qualcomm Inc (QCOM) is up over 23% after the digital wireless communications equipment manufacturer agreed to end all litigation with Apple Inc (AAPL) and agreed on a six year licensing deal and supply agreement.
Chevron Corp (CVX) is acquiring Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC) for $33 billion in cash and stock to join the ranks of Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS/A) and BP PLC (BP) as one of the major worldwide oil producers.
With Lyft, Incâ€™s (LYFT) stock price closing below its IPO price for two days in a row, short sellers had gone into overdrive over the last three trading days and shorted over 38% of its 32.5 million share float. LYFT short interest is $856 million with 12.4 million shares shorted. At 38.19%, LYFTâ€™s Short Interest as a % of Float is the 27th largest domestic stock among companies with greater than $50 million worth of Short Interest.
Bed Bath & Beyond Incâ€™s (BBBY) stock price rallied 22% on March 27th when it was reported that three activist investment funds, Legion Partners, Macellum Advisors and Ancora Advisors are looking to wage a proxy battle for control of the domestic merchandise and home furnishing retailer. The funds are looking to completely overhaul both the entire board of directors and replace CEO Steven Temares.