Citi, BofA Short Interest Up Again - TheStreet

Citi, BofA Short Interest Up Again

Citigroup and Bank of America were again targeted by short sellers in the second half of January, according to data from the NYSE.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

and

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

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,

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

, 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,

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

short interest dropped slightly to 25 million shares.

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

short interest dropped to 66 million shares from 77 million in the first half of January.

--

Written by Dan Freed in New York

.