As Nordstrom’s (JWN US) founding family explores the possibility of taking the firm private its stock price rose to $47.05/share in early morning trading. Nordstrom short interest averaged $1.23 billion in 2017, and shorts were having a profitable year prior to today’s news. They were up $186 million in mark to market P/L year-to-date but with today’s loss of $189 million they are now down $3 million for the year and join Sears as the only losing short bet in the entire Department Store sector.
Nordstrom’s is the largest short in the Department Store Sector at $1.2 billion of short interest, followed by Kohl’s, JC Penny, Macy’s, Dillard’s and Sears. The total amount of short interest in the Department Store sector is $3.5 billion, down $509 million in the last month.
We are seeing more shorting in Nordstrom stock this morning, over $70 million so far, as traders are either unsure whether the Nordstrom family can pull this off, or they are shorting into the sudden price spike looking for a partial reversal after the immediate volatility created by the news subsides.
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Head of Research, S3 Partners
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