Skip to main content

With the many huge upward and downward spikes taking place in the stock market recently, opportunities for short-squeeze plays abound.

A short squeeze takes place when the

short-sellers in a stock scramble to cover their bearish positions when that stock moves sharply upward; their buying ends up pushing shares even higher. Short positions of stocks are measured by the short-squeeze ratio, which represents the number of days it would take for the short-sellers to cover their positions based on the recent daily volume of the stock.

Stockpickr recently reviewed the stocks in the

S&P 500

index, extracted the stocks that have the highest short ratios as well as price/earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratios below 2 and compiled them in the

Top S&P 500 Short-Squeeze Stocks


One of the stocks on the list is

Quest Diagnostics

(DGX) - Get Quest Diagnostics Incorporated Report

, with a short ratio of 24. This health care diagnostic-testing company just received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for two point-of-care tests, a whole blood test and a herpes simplex type-2 virus test. The stock has a

P/E ratio of 21.5, a PEG of 1.4 and a yield of 0.7%.

Quest shows up in an interesting Stockpickr portfolio called

Bleak Friday's (Oct. 19, 2007) Survivors -- Part I

, which includes such stocks as

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

Hansen Medical


, with a short ratio of 4.6, and


(ICE) - Get Intercontinental Exchange Inc. Report

, with a 2.3 short ratio.

Jones Apparel Group


is another S&P 500 stock with a high short ratio. It would take 15.7 days for the short-sellers to cover their positions based on recent trading volume. The retailer recently delivered a solid third-quarter earnings beat. The stock has a P/E of 15, a PEG of 1.4 and a yield of 2.7%.

Jones is on the

Vogue September '07 Advertisers List

, a portfolio on Stockpickr that lists the publicly traded companies that advertise in the high-end fashion magazine. Other Vogue stocks on the list are

Luxottica Group


, which has a 2.7 short ratio,


(NKE) - Get Nike Inc. Report

, with a short ratio of 2, and


(AGN) - Get Allergan plc Report

, with a 4.2 short ratio.

Then there's

International Flavors & Fragrances

(IFF) - Get International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. Report

, a stock with a 13.1 short ratio. It recently reported third-quarter results that revealed a 13% year-over-year increase in earnings per share (before items) on 8% revenue growth.

IFF is owned by

Aston/Optimum Mid Cap I

(ABMIX), a fund that's generated a one-year return of 17% plus. Its holdings include


(UIS) - Get Unisys Corporation Report

, with a short ratio of 6.3, and

Andrew Corp.

( ANDW), with a short ratio of 3.

For more S&P 500 stocks with high short ratios and PEG ratios below 2, check out the

Top S&P 500 Short-Squeeze Stocks


At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of Stockpickr LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for

The Financial Times

and the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund


Trade Like Warren Buffett



. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

click here

to send him an email. has a revenue-sharing relationship with Trader's Library under which it receives a portion of the revenue from purchases by customers directed there from