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Short Interest

NYSE Short Interest, Last Six Months

Source: New York Stock Exchange

Nasdaq Short Interest, Last Six Months 2000

Source: Nasdaq

After five straight months of rising short interest (and four records), the

New York Stock Exchange

reported on Friday that short interest fell 3% in the latest period ended Jan. 12. Short interest now stands at 4,728,525,220 shares, down 147,340,024 shares from last month, when it stood at a record 4,875,865,244 shares. The short interest on Jan. 12 was equal to 1.4% of the total shares on the exchange, according to the NYSE.

The

TheStreet Recommends

Fed's

surprise rate cut in January, along with a rising stock market, no doubt played a part in the reduction of short interest. Just as we

wrote last month -- right here in this space -- if the market ever begins to move upward short-sellers will probably begin to cover (or buy back) some of their shorts. That's exactly what happened.

When the

Nasdaq

reports its short interest figures on Jan. 25, we'd expect to see a reduction in the number of shares sold short there as well.

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