ETF short interest can shed light for traders on areas of the market where investors see potential weakness.
S3 Partners analyst Ihor Dusaniwsky released his latest list of ETFs with the most short interest on Wednesday. Total short interest in the 2,200 domestic ETFs that S3 tracks was up $4.77 billion to $159 billion last week, Dusaniwsky said.
“ETF short sellers continue to make fixed income ETF’s a popular short for both hedging and outright trading purposes, as five out of the top 20 ETF shorts are fixed-income ETFs,” he said.
Most Shorted ETFs
The following are the 16 ETFs with the highest short interest, according to S3:
- SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), $42.12 billion.
- iShares Russell 2000 Index (NYSE: IWM), $11.37 billion.
- PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (NASDAQ: QQQ), $9.51 billion.
- iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Indx (NYSE: EEM), $5.54 billion.
- iShares iBoxx $ High Yid Corp Bond (NYSE: HYG), $5.16 billion.
- iShares IBoxx $ Invest Grade Corp Bd Fd (NYSE: LQD), $3.6 billion.
- Utilities SPDR (NYSE: XLU), $3.28 billion.
- SPDR S&P Biotech (NYSEARCA: XBI), $3.27 billion.
- iShares Barclays Aggregate Bond Fund (NYSE: AGG), $3.08 billion.
- iShares Barclays 20+ Yr Treas.Bond (NASDAQ: TLT), $3.03 billion.
- iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (NYSE: EFA), $2.91 billion.
- Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSE: XLF), $2.51 billion.
- Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSE: XLI), $2.48 billion.
- ISHARES TR/JPMORGAN USD EMERGI (NASDAQ: EMB), $2.46 billion.
- SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD), $2.17 billion.
- SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSE: DIA), $2.07 billion.
It shouldn’t be worrying that the SPY ETF is the largest short position by far. It doesn’t necessarily mean investors are bearish about the market given that shorting the SPY ETF is one of the most popular ways for investors to hedge against their long stock positions.
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