Apple (AAPL) Overtakes Tesla (TSLA) for Dubious Honor of Most-Shorted Stock

Investing

Data analytics and services firm S3 Partners generated buzz on Sept. 15 when it declared that Apple (US:AAPL) overtook Tesla (US:TSLA) as the most-shorted stock in the U.S. market.

According to The Wall Street Journal, traders “accumulated $18.4 billion worth of bearish bets tied to Apple.” Conversely, Tesla features a short interest of approximately $17.4 billion.

Elon Musk’s EV pioneer held the dubious honor for more than two years.

Nevertheless, investors need to consider the rankings in context.

While the short interest of $18.4 billion may sound alarming, Apple stock features a short interest as a percentage of its float of 0.70%, according to Fintel data, with a short-interest ratio of 1.38 days to cover.

Tesla sports a short interest percentage of 2.32% and 1.07 days to cover.

Neither company charts on Fintel’s Short Squeeze Leaderboard, which covers the 250 most bearish bets relative to their underlying public float.

For additional context, software firm Cvent (US:CVT) is number 250 on the leaderboard with a short float of 9.98% and 2.59 days to cover.

Apple took the title of most-shorted stock amid an optimistic demand profile. According to Bloomberg, shares rallied on Sept. 12 as “pre-order data showed the iPhone 14 Pro Max was the best selling model,” indicating that some consumer cohorts were resilient against inflationary pressures.

At the same time, for the week ended Sept. 16, Apple fell 5.5%

On Sept. 13, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index, which indicated that consumer prices “rose 0.1 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis after being unchanged in July.”

Further, the report noted that “Increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest of many contributors to the broad-based monthly all items increase. These increases were mostly offset by a 10.6-percent decline in the gasoline index.”

Following the disclosure, The Wall Street Journal reported that economists feared that “the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates by a full percentage point at its policy meeting next week.” Such a hawkish pivot – one signaled earlier by Fed chair Jerome Powell at the economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming – may hurt the further tamp down enthusiasm needed for growth stocks to thrive.

This article originally appeared on Fintel

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