I have always found it to be annoying how stale short interest data is. Today we got new numbers for short positions and looking at $TSLA you can see that the new information tells us the change in short interest between March 28 and the position as of April 15. Why this data isn’t available electronically everyday is irritating enough, but to have a delay of 7 business days makes no sense. Complaining about the rules isn’t going to help anything so we have to do the best with the data we have.

The table besides the chart of $TSLA shows that the short position during the yellow highlighted period decreased by just 600,000 shares. The stock is at an all time high and shorts only covered 2% of their position? What are they waiting for to stop the pain? Of course we don’t know what action they have taken from April 16 through today but with the stock up about 18% in that time it is tough to think they were adding fresh shorts. With the stock at all time highs it is correct to say that not one of the shares sold short before April 15 is in a winning position. In fact it is also correct to assume that these short sellers are getting hurt badly a in their position. At what point do they throw in the towel and buy back the shares? Maybe they get forced buyins from their margin desks or from a risk manager? Maybe they know something we don’t know and the stock is about to receive news which motivates sellers to rush in all at once and crash the stock?

click chart to enlarge

We have no way of knowing the motivations of the short sellers, but it is still quite possible that there could be explosive upside in the stock from these levels. The pressure is on the shorts and their job of managing risk in this trade seems to have gotten away from them, that can be good for those who are long but it doesn’t mitigate or job of managing the risk on our trade.