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By the Numbers

Short interest rises at Nasdaq, declines in NYSE stocks

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 7, 2014.
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More new shorts were added in Nasdaq stocks in the end of March, but short interest declined on NYSE-listed names.

After hitting a two year high earlier in the year, short interest in NYSE stocks declined in the second half of March for the first time in 10 weeks.

Stocks listed on NASDAQ,however, saw an increase of 1.91 percent during the same period. As of March end, short interest rose to about 7.67 billion shares, compared with 7.53 billion shares as of mid-March.

The NYSE reported on Monday that short interest declined to 14.5 billion shares for the final weeks of March from 14.6 billion on March 14, a 1.05 percent decrease – the biggest such decrease since December of last year.

Biotech was one of the biggest shorts. Stocks with some of the highest ratios on Nasdaq were Myriad Genetics, WorldAcceptance and Sodastream, with more than 30 percent of outstanding shares sold as short.

NASDAQ's Most Shorted

MYGNMyriad Genetics38.75,0.75,1.97%54.70%
WRLDWorld Acceptance 79.92-0.08-0.10%39.70%
OUTROuterwall Inc.66.54-1.69-2.48%39.50%
SODASodaStream 39.69-0.23-0.58%36.40%
UNXLUni-Pixel7.35-0.06-0.81%36.30%
SWHCSmith & Wesson13.94-0.22-1.55%36.00%
EBIXEbix16.44-0.34-2.03%34.40%
SRPTSarepta Therapeutics22.82-0.39-1.70%34.10%
VVUSVIVUS4.9-0.01-0.21%32.30%
EGLEEagle Bulk Shipping 3.91-0.27-6.46%32.10%

Similarly, Gamestop, U.S. Steel, Lennar and Joy Global remain the top shorted stock in the .

S&P 500's Most Shorted

GMEGameStop Corp41.08-0.13-0.32%28.10%
XUnited States Steel26.98-0.63-2.28%25.20%
JOYJoy Global Inc.60.64-0.28-0.46%22.50%
ADTADT Corporation30.13-0.18-0.59%21.80%
CVCCablevision Systems16.7-0.32-1.91%21.80%
FTRFrontier Comm.5.49,0.04,0.83%20.00%
VRSNVeriSign49.22-0.96-1.91%17.60%
DGXQuest Diagnostics 59.07-0.09-0.15%17.20%
PETMPetSmart67.96,0.04,0.06%16.40%
LENLennar Corporation 39.1-0.08-0.20%16.20%

Short interest measures the total number of shares of a security that has 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.

Russell 1000's Most Shorted

MYGNMyriad Genetics38.67,0.67,1.76%54.70%
JCPJ. C. Penney 7.78-0.74-8.69%36.20%
CLFCliffs Natural 19.75-0.48-2.37%33.90%
VEEVVeeva Systems22.98-0.28-1.20%33.70%
ZUZulily46.34-0.19-0.41%32.00%
GMEGameStop 40.94-0.27-0.66%28.10%
DDD3D Systems 50.09,1.31,2.69%26.20%
RMDResMed 44.82-0.38-0.84%25.30%
XUnited States Steel 26.89-0.71-2.57%25.20%
HLFHerbalife61.04,1.2,2.01%24.70%

- By CNBC's Pradip Sigdyal