NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amid the U.S. stock market’s slide to start the year, short sellers are up about $114 billion in realized and unrealized gains so far in 2022 as of Friday, or an 11.6% increase, according to financial analytics firm S3 Partners.
According to S3, 79% of money in short positions have produced profitable returns in January.
Declines in software and services stocks led to the biggest gain among industries, a 19.2% return for shorts so far this month, according to S3.
The profitable start to the year for short sellers marks a turnaround from 2021, when the benchmark S&P 500 rose nearly 27%. Last year, short sellers were down $150.5 billion in realized and unrealized losses, or 13.2%, according to S3, with the biggest industry losses for shorts in energy and semiconductors.
This year, though, the S&P 500 is down 7.5%. Stocks endured a roller-coaster session on Monday, with the S&P 500 ending up about 0.3% after falling as much as 4% during the day.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Chris Reese, Bernard Orr)