When it comes to selling stocks short, it may be time to join the crowd.
Stocks with high levels of short interest compared to total shares outstanding actually had been a leader, outperforming all other categories in 2013.
That trend continued into the first quarter of 2014, but has reversed of late.
In fact, highly shorted stocks have taken a nose-dive over the past three weeks. A basket of such companies compiled by Bespoke Investment Group is off more than 9 percent for the year after having been positive as recently as Sept. 18, the firm said in a research note. That's good news for short sellers, but bad for those betting that the shorts are wrong.
By comparison, a basket of the least-shorted stocks is up 3.21 percent this year, according to Bespoke.
Both groups have underperformed the S&P 500, which is up about 4.6 percent year to date after slumping 3.4 percent over the past month.
A quick look at the most- and least-shorted names on the market index: