Short sellers step back from consumer discretionary
Short sellers are distancing themselves from consumer discretionary stocks after backing away from consumer staples as of late August, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Why it matters: The findings may come as a bit of a surprise, given that retailers reliant on selling consumer discretionary goods have lowered their forecasts and are addressing inventory issues.
- Some short sellers may believe inflation has peaked, S&P says.
Details: Short interest in consumer discretionary stocks traded on U.S. exchanges represented 5.1% of all outstanding shares as of mid-August — a decline of 52 basis points since June 30.
- It's also the lowest short interest in the sector since mid-February, S&P adds.
- Home furnishing retail, department stores and automotive were the most shorted categories within consumer discretionary, at 13.89%, 10.35% and 9.39% respectively.
- The most shorted stock in the sector is no surprise: 38.6% of Bed Bath & Beyond's shares are sold short.
Of note: "Short interest in Bed Bath & Beyond has risen steadily this year, from 28.46% at the end of December," S&P says.
Yes, and: Consumer discretionary remains the most shorted sector overall, beating out health care, which has short interest of 3.93%, and energy, which has short interest of 3.77%.
The big picture: "The average short interest for S&P 500 stocks was 2.22% as of mid-August, down from 2.31% in mid-July," S&P says.