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S3 Analytics: Tesla Shorts Running Out of Gas

Tesla Inc’s (TSLA) stock price had been dropping and its shares shorted were increasing for most of the first half of 2019. TSLA short sellers were up +$5.16 billion in mark-to-market net-of financing profits as of June 3rd when TSLA hit its year-to-date low of $178.97/share. In just over six months, TSLA shorts were $128 million shy of recouping their 2016-2018 mark-to-market losses of -$5.29 billion.

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Netflix Short Covering ahead of Earnings

After a three-month buildup from May to July, Netflix Inc (NFLX) short sellers have been slowly trimming their exposure to the online media giant with 1.8 million shares covered, -7.48%, since the beginning of August. NFLX is the 6th largest short in the U.S. market and continues to be the largest short in the Movies and Entertainment Sector. NFLX short interest is $6.2 billion; 21.85 million shares shorted; 5.10% of its float and a 0.30% stock borrow fee (general collateral.)

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Best & Worst Short Plays – Week of 9/27-10/3

The $847 billion of U.S. equity shorts that we follow were overall profitable this week making $12.96 billion in net-of-financing mark-to-market profits, for a weekly return of +1.64%. Tesla shorts were the most profitable in dollar terms, up $348 million for the week, as production results disappointed the street. SNAP Inc (SNAP) is seeing a pullback from its first half of the year rally, shorts have been building their positions since July and this week’s profits just pushed year-to-date losses just below the -$1 billion mark.

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Hottest Short Stocks – Week of 9/27-10/3

Beyond Meat (BYND US) once again tops the list of the actively shorted stocks with the highest stock borrow fees at 112.68%, with its rates trending even higher today. BYND shorts are paying just under $3.4 million per day in stock borrow financing fees, the largest daily financing payment for actively traded shorts.

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Tweets: @ihors3 – The Stars Group (TSG)
$TSG

short int is $297 mm; 19.40 mm shs shorted; 8.65% of float, 0.30% fee. Shs shorted are up +14.6 mm shs, +303%, in 2019 as its price fell -7.3% & down -1.2mm shs, -5.8%, over the last month. Shorts are down -$58 mm in mark-to-market YTD losses, including down -$92 mm today.

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Shorts up as Schwab Cuts Commissions

Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW) cut its commissions on US listed equities, ETFs and options to $0 yesterday which caused the 40 stocks we follow in the Investment Banking & Brokerage Sector to fall an average of -3.65%. The stocks with the largest declines were TD Ameritrade (AMTD)    -25.36%; E*TRADE Financial (ETFC) -16.60%; Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW) -9.83%; Ladenburg Thalman Financial (LTS) -9.69%; and Interactive Brokers Group (IBKR) -9.48%.

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Shorting EVs – Tesla versus Nio

While there are several Electric Vehicles (EVs) being produced by Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) manufactures such as the Chevy Bolt, Ford Focus, Toyota Prius and the Nissan Leaf and there are many EV manufacturers such as Bollinger, Byton, Lucid and Polestar planning to deliver EV’s in the next few years there are only two major EV producers that are truly shortable – Nio Inc ADR (NIO US) and Tesla Inc (TSLA US). Both NIO and TSLA have been actively shorted in 2019 with positive year-to-date results.

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McDonald’s Squeezes Beyond Meat Short Sellers

McDonald’s Corp (MCD) will introduce the PLT (Plant, Lettuce & Tomato) in a three-month trial in its Ontario, Canada restaurants. While Nestle (NESN SW) is supplying its plant-based patty to McDonald’s restaurants in Germany, the firm has chosen Beyond Meat Inc (BYND) to supply its alt-meat patties in Canada. One of McDonald’s main competitors, Burger King Corp, has already partnered with Impossible Foods Inc as their plant-based patty purveyor.

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