SEC Chair, Mary Schapiro, announced that she has made it a priority to evaluate regulations on short selling. As she kicks off her "round table" on the issue with participants that include General Electric , JP Morgan Chase , Fidelity, The New York Stock Exchange , NASDAQ , and others, below is a list of the companies with the biggest short interest on the S&P 500 (Ranked by short interest as a percent of shares outstanding).
Last month the SEC put forth 5 alternative plans for rules on short selling. Options being considered range from the uptick rule to the ban of short selling for stocks that fall more than 10% in a trading session.
During the market turmoil last fall, many financial stocks were targeted by short sellers. The SEC instituted an unprecedented ban on the short selling of 870 US companies until the TARP was instituted.
Depending on how things move within the SEC, the companies with sizable short positions, may see a lift as short sellers get squeezed and are forced to buy back shares they sold.
Data source: Thomson Reuters
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