Short Squeeze: Identifying Vulnerable Stocks

Short Squeeze

Trading a short squeeze is possible through our derivative products such as spread bets​ and CFDs​. With derivatives, you do not actually own the underlying share, but rather speculate on its price movements.

How do you predict a short squeeze?

Scanning for a Short Squeeze

The number of shares short should be greater than five times the average daily volume. The shares short as a percentage of the float should be greater than 10% The number of shares short should be increasing.

Janus Henderson Group plc through its subsidiaries may manage investment products with a financial interest in securities mentioned herein and any comments should not be construed as a reflection on the past or future profitability. There is no guarantee that the information supplied is accurate, complete, or timely, nor are there any warranties with regards to the results obtained from its use. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal and fluctuation of value. Once short sellers had effectively covered their positions, the stock collapsed over the following month, falling back below €300. The chaos caused by this Short Squeeze saw many hedge funds either closed or severely impacted.

Short Squeeze Stocks: Screener and Leaderboard

Traders can use a ‘days to cover’ or short ratio to measure the number of days that are expected to close out a company’s shorted shares. This calculation is useful for predicting a potential short squeeze in the market. If there is a high days to cover or short interest ratio, then traders can go long on a company’s share ahead of the predicted event.

  • The acquired stock is used to settle outstanding debt, and the short seller pockets the difference between the initial sale price and the purchase price.
  • Our risk management models were signaling for a reduction in risk and position sizing in nickel going into the short squeeze, due to the significant volatility in markets.
  • The flight of short sellers and their impact on a stock’s price is known as a short squeeze.
  • Ideally, the price of the stocks will fall and the short seller will be able to purchase them back for a reduced cost, return the shares, and keep the profit from the differences between the two prices paid, less interest.
  • Borrow, buy and sell timing can lead to more than 100% of a company’s shares sold short.
  • If the investor is correct and the share price has indeed declined, let’s say to $70, then the investor will make $30 in profit.
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Regulation SHO requires broker-dealers to identify a source of borrowable stock before executing a short sale in any equity security with the goal of reducing the number of situations where stock is unavailable for settlement. But, because currently the locate is usually done two days before settlement, the stock may not be available from the source at the time of settlement, possibly resulting in a fail. Selling stock short without having located stock for delivery at settlement and failing to deliver shares at the time of settlement.


Occurs when securities with a significant short interest rise sharply in value, which further accelerates the upward price movement from short-sellers closing out their positions. When it comes to short selling and, there are a couple of important data points to monitor. Panic-buying begets more panic-buying, egged on by speculators who know the situation the short sellers are in and actively try to put the screws to them. Most shorted stocks from companies like Yahoo Finance can help you identify heavily shorted stocks, too. Relative Strength Index “measures both the speed and rate of change in price movements within the market,” allowing investors to identify oversold market conditions ripe for a short squeeze.

  • A short position is when a short seller borrows stock from a brokerage to sell only to buy it back later at a lower price for profit.
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  • Chart showing the price movement and volume during the 2008 short squeeze of Volkswagen shares.
  • Once short sellers had effectively covered their positions, the stock collapsed over the following month, falling back below €300.

In January 2021, American video game and electronics retailer GameStop encountered a short squeeze that had a significant impact on its short sellers. GameStop’s share price​​ had declined in value over recent years, due to competition from more prominent online distributors, leading to approximately 140% of GameStop’s public shares being sold short. This meant that short sellers and large corporations such as hedge funds experienced sizeable losses. GameStop is an example of a meme stock​​, which are often the targets of a short squeeze.

Understanding a Short Squeeze

Short interest is the total number of shares sold short as a percentage of total shares outstanding. If a seller watches a stock’s short interest closely, they can often predict whether or not a short squeeze is imminent. In a short squeeze, a positive catalyst such as an unexpectedly strong earnings announcement causes a company’s share price to rise, and short-sellers run for the exit to cut their losses.

Short Squeeze

A short squeeze occurs because short sellers get skittish when it looks like their short bets may prove wrong. Short sellers face unlimited risk if they turn out to be wrong and a stock’s price rises. Not only that, but short sellers will also start getting margin calls from their brokers as their short goes bad.

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