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Short Interest

I am unclear as to exactly what short interest is. The data I see is the number of days along with a %. What do these two mean and how can I use them to help either enter or exit a trade ?


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    markdmarkd mod
    edited July 2021
    Short interest is the number of shares borrowed and sold that have to be bought back. Shares are borrowed from long-term holders who are paid interest for loaning the shares. The lenders are usually funds, institutions or brokers. The borrowers may be individuals or hedge funds (but not mutual funds).

    A large short interest usually indicates general pessimism about the company's prospects and a belief prices must fall from current levels. However, since the shares have to be returned, just as a loan has to be paid back, short interest also indicates latent demand. Shorts lose money if the price rises, and if the price rises quickly it can stampede the shorts into buying, yielding big and quick profits to longs who see it coming (AMC and GME are recent examples).

    The percent number indicates the portion of the float (shares issued for trading) that is owed by shorts. The number of days it the total number of shares sold short divided by average daily volume.

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