ETF Short Report: Emerging Markets Back In Favor?

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It's been a few weeks since we last looked at short selling in ETFs, so we took a look at the July 15 report (which publishes near the end of the month) to see what the markets have been hating lately.

First, the normal caveat:Short interest reporting is buggy, and flawed. Due to double counting issues, it's possible to have more reported short shares than actually exist in the market.

But that said, like any yardstick, no matter how broken it is, it can still tell you if one leg is shorter than the other.

First up, let's look at where the money is:

Big Bets
Ticker Name % Float Short 1 Month % Change $Short
SPY SPDR S&P 500 49.57% 3.027676 35,535,745,545.30
IWM iShares Russell 2000 95.59% -5.163966 14,520,884,113.80
QQQQ PowerShares QQQ 31.82% -1.066656 5,884,776,386.28
XRT SPDR S&P Retail 467.01% -1.40951 3,156,142,555.88
IYR iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate 107.99% -6.942071 2,860,315,477.18
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE 7.23% 12.82903 2,420,524,085.10
XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR 34.39% -9.314586 2,053,906,870.95
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets 5.32% -37.0806 2,035,764,337.92
XLE Energy Select Sector SPDR 27.20% 5.291078 1,694,238,414.08
FXI iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 19.00% -19.91192 1,540,383,448.00
Really Really Short
Ticker Name % Float Short 1 Month % Change $Short
XRT SPDR S&P Retail 467% -1.40951 3,156,142,555.88
SMH Semiconductor HOLDRS 161% 27.00214 926,951,585.28
KRE SPDR KBW Regional Banking 147% 4.100832 1,079,647,832.80
RTH Retail HOLDRS 139% -8.563104 599,480,773.31
XOP SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production 129% -1.348693 653,538,585.28
IYR iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate 108% -6.942071 2,860,315,477.18
IWM iShares Russell 2000 96% -5.163966 14,520,884,113.80
RKH Regional Bank HOLDRS 77% -19.50478 112,996,416.00
PPH Pharmaceutical HOLDRS 66% -1.920351 335,635,469.62
UTH Utilities HOLDRS 63% 0.6015017 42,527,942.73
EUFN iShares MSCI-Europe Financials 62% 1084.335 7,534,440.11

Despite the fact that shorts on retail stocks came down, the SPDR S&P Retail (NYSEArca:XRT) remains the most out-of-balance ETF in the U.S., with 467 percent of the shares in existence reported being sold short. Joining retail as most hated we saw a big move by the Semiconductor Holders (NYSEArca:SMH).

Financials have been a staple of the ETF Short list for years now, and this last month we saw a slight changing of the guard with the SPDR Regional Banking ETF (NYSEArca:KRE) replacing a bit of the exposure the less liquid Regional Bank HOLDRS (NYSEArca:RKH) used to hold.

Of interest is the rapid rise of short interest in the iShares MSCI-Europe Financials (NYSEArca:EUFN), from a base of almost nothing short, to 65 percent of the float. There's little surprise there, of course. It's pretty hard to find anyone with unfettered optimism about big European banks right now.

Last, a quick look at those ETFs whose short positions are out of all proportion to their daily volume.

Squeezable
Ticker Name Short Interest Ratio 1 Month % Change $Short
PGD Barclays Asian and Gulf Currency Revaluation ETN 1223.35 48834 2,441,806.60
WXSP Claymore Wilshire 4500 Completion 216.0638 -44.21862 242,907.60
UTH Utilities HOLDRS 134.9257 0.6015017 42,527,942.73
GBB iPath GBP/USD Exchange Rate ETN 130.3333 4.05855 64,890.36
GCE Claymore CEF Index-Linked GS Connect ETN 78.96912 -2.176724 1,202,745.44
AYT Barclays GEMS 8 ETN 45.45619 -2.292357 700,692.22
NASI ESG Shares North American Sustainability 42.04516 1513.119 162,468.81
BDH Broadband HOLDRS 31.71604 -12.22285 1,977,076.74
PPH Pharmaceutical HOLDRS 21.41219 -1.920351 335,635,469.62
KRE SPDR KBW Regional Banking 20.03269 4.100832 1,079,647,832.80
ginormous

Don't forget to check IndexUniverse.com's ETF Data section.

Copyright ® 2010 Index Publications LLC . All Rights Reserved.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , ETFs


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