Key Takeaways

  • Short sellers made over $50 billion in 7 trading days
  • Tesla was the most profitable short

U.S. short sellers made $51.3 billion in profits as the S&P 500 fell 10.02% and the Nasdaq fell 9.32% from Feb. 24 to March 3, according to S3 Partners. Total equity short interest increased by $14.58 billion during this period to reach $848.3 billion. "When looking at the most active shorted stocks, those with over $50 million of short interest, 90% of the stocks had positive mark-to-market P\L with an average return of +7.62%," said the note published yesterday.

Here are highlights from the action:

  • Most profitable shorts by dollar amounts: Tesla, Amazon, Visa, Eldorado Resorts, Facebook
  • Most profitable shorts by percentage: Tellurian, Dycom Industries, Chesapeake Energy, SmileDirectDlub, Penn REIT
  • Stocks with largest amount of short selling: Visa, Berkshire Hathaway, McKesson Corp, Digital Realty Trust, Boeing

"If today’s up-market is followed by several more days of positive stock price movement, we should see short covering activity in many stocks as short sellers realize recently earned mark-to-market gains. A good portion of the $14.58 billion of recent short selling activity may have a short lifespan, but a profitable one if shorts cover in time," said Ihor Dusaniwsky, Managing Director Predictive Analytics, S3 Partners.

Short sellers
Source: S3 Partners.