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Shorted Financial Stocks Spike in April

Financial stocks overall saw a big jump in short-selling activity at the end of April.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR saw an increase in outstanding short interest to 112 million shares from nearly 91 million in the middle of the month, according to New York Stock Exchange data.

10. American International Group (AIG) saw short interest jump to 33 million shares from just over 28 million in the middle of April. Daily trading volumes were nearly 5 million shares.

9. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) saw a slight rise in short interest — to 33 million from 30 million mid-month. Daily trading volumes were just over 27 million shares.

8. Wells Fargo (WFC) saw short interest dip slightly to 33.5 million shares from 40 million. Daily trading volumes for the county's fourth largest bank by assets were 51 million shares in the second half of April.

7. Annaly Capital Management (NLY) a real estate investment trust that invests in mortgage securities, saw short interest rise to 38 million shares from just over 35 million in the middle of the month on daily trading volumes of just over 9 million shares.

6. Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW) saw short interest rise to 43 million shares from nearly 40 million mid-month. Daily trading volume was about 10.6 million for the online broker.

5. Chimera Investment Corp. (CIM) saw short interest climb to 51.8 million from 51.3 million. Daily trading volume for the real estate investment trust, which invests in real estate securities such as bonds backed by residential mortgages, was 10.5 million.

4. General Electric* saw a rise in short interest to 68 million from 63 million shares. Average daily trading volume was nearly 65 million.

3. Synovus (SNV) saw short interest drop just a touch to 84.8 million shares from 85.5 million. Average daily trading volume was 12.7 million.

2. Bank of America came in second, with a short interest of 93 million, down from nearly 96 million in the previous period. The bank saw an average daily trading volume of 143 million.

1. Citigroup was the most heavily-shorted name, with a short interest of 388 million shares, up from 381 million in mid-April. Citigroup's average daily trading volume over the period was 396 million.

Short interest reflects the number of shares being lent out to investors betting against a rise in the stock of a particular company. Short sellers borrow shares in the hope the stock price will fall, so they can buy the shares at a lower price to repay the lender while pocketing the difference.

The NYSE releases short interest data twice a month with a roughly two week lag time for the 100 stocks with the greatest short interest outstanding.

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* General Electric maintains minority ownership of NBCUniversal, CNBC's corporate parent.

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Disclosures:

TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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