After massive rally, will shorts finally win?

NYSE New York Stock Exchange traders markets
Getty Images

As the S&P 500 continues to trade near record highs, short interest appears to be on the rise, again.

NYSE Euronext reports short interest rose more than 1.53 percent in November to 27.84 billion shares, its largest amount in five months.

Just in the last two weeks of November, more than 43 percent of S&P 500 stocks saw an average 10 percent increase in short interest.

This year has not been kind to short sellers, which have seen the S&P jump 24 percent, or its largest gain in a decade.

But some investors believe the tide may change. Hedge fund manager Bill Fleckenstein recently told CNBC he was restarting his short fund, while hedge fund titan Jim Chanos said he's finding many more opportunities on the short side.

Short interest measures the total number of shares of a security that have been sold short, expressed as a percent of total tradeable shares.

Investors track short interest levels to gain a sense of where a stock might be headed, along with some insight into whether any positive news might force short traders to cover their positions, pushing stocks higher.

Within the S&P 500, 33 stocks or about 7 percent of the index have short interest greater than 10 percent.

About one-third of those names are part of the consumer discretionary sector. The most shorted stocks are Cliffs Natural Resources, U.S. Steel and home builder Lennar, which all have short interest greater than 20 percent.

Here is a list of S&P stocks that have the largest short interest as a percent of float and their year-to-date performance:

Short Int.
YTD % Chg.
CLF Cliffs Natural Res. 31.4 -38.68 Materials
X United States Steel 24.2 10.81 Materials
LEN Lennar Corp. 20.4 -9.41 Consumer Disc.
FTR Frontier Corp. 19.1 4.56 Telecom.
ADT The ADT Corp. 19.1 -15.06 Industrials
TRIP Tripadvisor 17.8 99.88 Consumer Disc.
CVC Cablevision Systems 17.7 7.83 Consumer Disc.
GME GameStop Corp. 17.6 84.81 Consumer Disc.
JOY Joy Global 17.5 -16.4 Industrials
VRSN VeriSign 16.7 45.75 Information Tech.
PBI Pitney Bowes 16.6 105.07 Industrials
DHI D.R. Horton 16.5 -3.49 Consumer Disc.
PRGO Perrigo Company 16.4 45.78 Health Care
ANF Abercrombie & Fitch 16.2 -31 Consumer Disc.
WIN Windstream Holdings 14.9 -4.14 Telecom.
FSLR First Solar 14.3 78.8 Information Tech.
HAS Hasbro 13.3 44.35 Consumer Disc.
GRMN Garmin Ltd. 13.2 16.66 Consumer Disc.
DGX Quest Diagnostics 13.2 -6.38 Health Care
TSN Tyson Foods 13.1 72.94 Consumer Staples
MU Micron Technology 12.8 260.41 Information Tech.
EXPE Expedia 12.4 1.66 Consumer Disc.
MTB M&T Bank Corp. 12 15.41 Financials
DNB The Dun & Bradstreet 11.9 47.73 Industrials
NFLX Netflix 11.6 301.05 Consumer Disc.
LM Legg Mason 11.1 58.36 Financials
CHRW C.H. Robinson 11 -9.46 Industrials
GM General Motors 10.8 40.27 Consumer Disc.
AA Alcoa Inc. 10.8 8.53 Materials
TER Teradyne 10.7 -2.37 Information Tech.
MCHP Microchip Technology 10.3 29.43 Information Tech.
SPLS Staples 10.2 39.74 Consumer Disc.
KSS Kohl's Corp. 10.1 28.32 Consumer Disc.

—By CNBC's Giovanny Moreano and Pradip Sigdyal. Follow Giovanny on Twitter: @giovannymoreano