NEW YORK (
Bank of America
were again targeted by short sellers in the second half of January, according to
New York Stock Exchange
data released late Tuesday.
Citigroup short interest rose to 439 million shares, from 397 million in the first half of January, and 381 million at the end of December. Citigroup also saw increases in short interest in the first half of December and the second half of November.
Put differently, short interest in Citigroup has risen at least five straight times
since I began tracking outstanding short interest
late last year.
In Citigroup's defense, it raised its share count by several million in December to repay $20 billion in bailout funds to the U.S. Treasury. Bank of America, which sold shares to raise $19.3 billion in December, has seen a similar increase in short interest, most notably when it
tripled in the first half of December.
Bank of America was the second-most shorted stock on the NYSE after Citigroup in the second half of January, with nearly 327 million in short interest outstanding, up from 278 million in the first half of the month and 251 million during the prior two-week period.
On the other hand,
, which raised $12.25 billion in equity in December, has not seen short interest rise as substantially. Short interest in Wells Fargo fell slightly to 44 million shares in the second half of January.
Among other large financial stocks,
short interest dropped slightly to 25 million shares.
short interest dropped to 66 million shares from 77 million in the first half of January.
Written by Dan Freed in New York