NYSE Short Interest, Last Six Months

Source: New York Stock Exchange

Nasdaq Short Interest, Last Six Months

Source: Nasdaq

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

New York Stock Exchange

reported last 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.

After reaching new highs in the last period, short interest in

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Nasdaq

securities also fell in the latest period ended Jan. 12, as expected. According to Nasdaq, short interest fell 1.3% to 3,452,282,664 shares from a record 3,497,263,482 shares at the last reporting, Nasdaq reported Wednesday.

The

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.

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