Tesla short interest is $15.86 billion; 24.38 million shares shorted; 18.22% of its float. It continues to be the largest short in the domestic market.
Tesla shares shorted have decreased by -1.37 million shares, -5.30%, over the last 30 days as its stock price has risen +46.85%. This equates to -$888 million of short covering over the last 30 days.
Tesla shares shorted have decreased by -651 thousand shares, -2.60%, over the last week as its stock price has risen +15.18%. This equates to -$424 million of short covering over the last week.
While Apple Inc (AAPL) was the most shorted stock in the U.S. at the start of the year, it has stepped aside and let the TSLA take the lead. While TSLA short interest increased by +$4.88 billion in 2020, even with $1.22 billion of short covering, AAPL short interest declined by -$528 million, with -$1.25 of short covering. The short covering in both stocks was more than offset by stock price appreciation.
Tesla shorts were down -$2.89 billion in mark-to-market losses in 2019 and are down -$8.31 billion in mark-to-market losses so far in 2020, including -$2.47 billion on todayâ€™s +15.59% price move. Tesla shorts were down -$5.84 billion in mark-to-market losses in January.
Since its low of $178.97 on June 3rd 2019 Tesla short sellers have covered -19.31 million shares, worth $12.6 billion, and are down -$16.11 billion in mark-to-market losses.
Everyone is anticipating a dramatic TSLA short squeeze, but it is more likely to be a continuous slow decline in shares shorted rather than a sudden abrupt plunge. This is due to the amount of short hedging that is being done to offset Tesla convertible bond and option exposure. With the share conversion price of all three Tesla converts $400 â€śin the moneyâ€ť the short equity risk offset can be as high as 10-12.8 million shares. Add in option and swap hedges and the total amount of â€ślocked inâ€ť shorts could be 11-15 million shares.
That would leave 9-13 million shares of risk positions that can be â€śsqueezedâ€ť depending on how many short positions are truly hedges. While we are seeing some momentum short sellers increasing their positions in anticipation of a short-term pullback, we should see an increase of short covering due to this $700/share level squeeze.
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Managing Director Predictive Analytics, S3 Partners, LLC
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