There are three major ETFs shorts that are used for outright market exposure and portfolio hedging – the Spider S&P 500 ETF (SPY), the iShs Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) and the PwrShs Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQ). They have been ranked 1-2-3 in short interest balances for as long as they have been active. The remainder of the top ten shorted ETF’s change along with the market – they are comprised of sector, product and regional ETFs that rise and fall in “short” popularity as the need arises.
The Spider S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) had the biggest move in the top ten, climbing two spots to #6 even though a rally in the sector gave short sellers a $115 million mark-to-market loss, -3.93%, for the week. This week’s largest decliners in short interest were the Industrial Select Sector Spider ETF (XLI) which fell three spots and Spider S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) which fell two spots in the league tables as the price of WTI Crude continues to weaken. Bond ETFs had very active moves in short interest this week with the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) and the iShares JPM $ Emerging markets Bond ETF (EMB) down $604 in aggregate short exposure while the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) and the Xtrackers $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYLB) were up $120 million for the week. The biggest winners for the week were both crude related – the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) and the U.S. Oil Fund (USO) were both up over 3% in mark-to-market profits. Laggards were the large portfolio hedge ETFs, Spider S&P 500 ETF (SPY) and iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), as the overall market had a up week.
Want deeper insight into the above analysis? Contact:
Managing Director Predictive Analytics, S3 Partners, LLC
The information herein (some of which has been obtained from third party sources without verification) is believed by S3 Partners, LLC ('S3 Partners') to be reliable and accurate. Neither S3 Partners nor any of its affiliates makes any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information herein or accepts liability arising from its use. Prior to making any decisions based on the information herein, you should determine, without reliance upon S3 Partners, the economic risks and merits, as well as the legal, tax, accounting and investment consequences, of such decision.