New records in short interest
Good thing I'm skinny because it's darn crowded in here
Short interest for the period between mid-February and mid-March rose sharply on both exchanges. Short interest on the NYSE hit record levels. The previous record high NYSE short interest was posted in April of 2003. Short interest on the NASDAQ also came in at record highs. The previous record high for the NASDAQ? Last month.
The graph I've been using appears below. It uses January 2003 as an index year (for no reason than that was a complete year bull market and the first year where I collected data).
Short interest in the IBB, the iShare ETF for the NASDAQ Biotech Index (NBI), rose 24.59% to 7.2M shares last month. This month, short interest in the IBB is up 82.17% to 13.1M shares. The BBH, a HOLDr ETF approximating the AMEX Biotech Index, saw short interest rise 11.71%.
Finally, the short interest on the 159 stocks in the NBI represents 11.53% of the total short interest on the NASDAQ. This is essentially flat from last month. Total short interest for all NBI stocks increased, just not as much as the increase seen in the NASDAQ short interest numbers.
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