A report by Citi analysts Deborah L Weinswig and Tiffany Kanaga says short interest in the Retail sector was up 4.7% in the latter half of September and +8.6% for the month. On the other hand, NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) short interest decreased (-2.1%) during the latter half of September. Here are some interesting insights from the report.

retailers short intt trend

2-nyse-vs-dj-short-intt

Which retailers bore the brunt?

The five retailers that saw the maximum increase in short interest in the second half of September were as follows:

Short InterestShort InterestShort Interest
TickerCompanySeptember 13, 2013September 30, 2013% chg.
WAGWalgreen13,358,32515,447,73015.6%
JCPJ.C. Penney71,720,28583,522,47816.5%
TGTTarget17,873,30920,835,15116.6%
DDSDillard’s2,812,2313,372,15719.9%
DLTRDollar Tree2,875,93014,313,134397.7%

Which retailers stood their ground?

The five retailers that saw a decrease in short interest were:

Short InterestShort InterestShort Interest
TickerCompanySeptember 13, 2013September 30, 2013% chg.
SWYSafeway47,131,07532,638,422(30.7%)
SHLDSears Holdings15,931,81013,710,928(13.9%)
KRKroger8,936,8747,864,197(12.0%)
MMacy’s9,513,0988,396,316(11.7%)
DGDollar General4,271,8953,979,007(6.9%)

Which retailers had the maximum short interest?

The following five retailers showed the maximum short positions as a percentage of float:

Short InterestShort Intt/Float
TickerCompanySeptember 30, 2013September 30, 2013
SWYSafeway32,638,42213.7%
SVUSupervalu33,593,62516.8%
SHLDSears Holdings13,710,92817.8%
SKSSaks18,049,88719.4%
JCPJ.C. Penney83,522,47838.4%

Short position in J.C. Penney

According to the report, the short position in J.C. Penney Company, Inc.(NYSE:JCP), the largest as a percentage of float, could be covered in just 1.3 days given its average daily volume of 62.54M shares.

In contrast, it would take bears in Fred’s, Inc.(NASDAQ:FRED) all of 19.4 days to cover their shorts.