The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that the rally on the Toronto Stock Exchange this year is lifting all boats -- including those of the short sellers, to their dismay. In a Globe special, Larry MacDonald writes that one indication of the hit they are taking is the average 13-per-cent gain since January in the 20 most heavily shorted companies. This increase is nearly the same as the TSX's increase.
Mr. Macdonald argues that shorted stocks should underperform the market over the longer term, if academic studies are a guide, but many analysts expect that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in 2019, so the bullish streak in stocks could continue for a while yet and keep pressuring the "shorts."
The top price gainers among the most shorted companies include Badger Daylighting (44.3 per cent), Home Capital Group (31.3 per cent) and Exchange Income (30.3 per cent). These three, incidentally, were targets of Marc Cohodes, a former hedge-fund manager who trades his own account.
Mr. Cohodes could be proven right eventually. For now, he appears to have dialled down his activist short-selling campaigns on Canadian stocks. The short-selling community at large, however, remains active.
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