These are the top 10 stocks that hedge funds are betting the most against

  • In its November Hedge Fund Trend Monitor report, Goldman Sachs released a list of the top stocks shorted by hedge funds.
  • Goldman uses the total dollar value of short interest outstanding to estimate hedge fund short portfolio holdings, according to the report.
  • “Short positions continue to contribute alpha, lifting the average equity hedge fund to a 10% YTD return,” Goldman analysts wrote in the report.
  • Here are the top 10 stocks that firms are betting against.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

In the first weeks of November, hedge funds revealed the stocks they’re betting on, and data also showed the ones they’re betting against.

Goldman Sachs analyzed 833 hedge funds with $2.1 trillion in gross equity positions – including $700 billion short positions – for its Hedge Fund Trend Monitor report released November 18.

From the analysis, Goldman compiled its “Very Important Short Position List” as a short hedge against the most-loved stocks firms own.

The list contains 50 S&P 500 companies with the highest dollar value of short interest outstanding, excluding companies on the long list and stocks with more than 10% of float-adjusted shares held short. The total dollar value of short interest outstanding is used as an estimate of hedge fund short portfolio holdings, according to the report.

“Short positions continue to contribute alpha, lifting the average equity hedge fund to a 10% YTD return,” Goldman analysts wrote in the report. That still lagged the S&P 500 index return of 27% for the same period.

After a few “sluggish” months, hedge fund performance is sharply rebounding in the fourth quarter, according to Goldman. The “Very Important Short” basket has lagged the S&P 500 by 6 percentage points this year, and stocks with the highest short interest as a share of market cap have returned a median of -5% year-t0-date, according to the report.

Here are the top 10 stocks that represent the largest short positions, ranked in order of increasing value of short interest.


10. Chevron

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FILE PHOTO: Chevron (CVX)’s logo is seen in Los Angeles
source
Reuters

Ticker: CVX

Short interest as % of float cap: 1%

Year-to-date return: 15%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 2

Value of short interest: $2.4 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs


9. UnitedHealth Group

Ticker: UNH

Short interest as % of float cap: 1%

Year-to-date return: 10%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 11

Value of short interest: $2.6 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs


8. BB&T Corp.

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People walk past a BB&T bank in Alexandria, Virginia July 22, 2010
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REUTERS/Molly Riley

Ticker: BBT

Short interest as % of float cap: 6%

Year-to-date return: 30%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 1

Value of short interest: $2.6 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs


7. Home Depot

source
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Ticker: HD

Short interest as % of float cap: 1%

Year-to-date return: 41%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 10

Value of short interest: $2.6 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs


6. Procter & Gamble

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Procter & Gamble’s Head & Shoulders is seen in a store in Manhattan, New York, U.S.
source
Thomson Reuters

Ticker: PG

Short interest as % of float cap: 1%

Year-to-date return: 35%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 3

Value of short interest: $2.8 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs


5. Exxon Mobil

caption
Darren Woods, Chairman & CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation attends a news conference at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 1, 2017.
source
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Ticker: XOM

Short interest as % of float cap: 1%

Year-to-date return: 6%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 1

Value of short interest: $2.9 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs


4. Intel Corp.

source
Alexander Tolstykh/Shutterstock

Ticker: INTC

Short interest as % of float cap: 1%

Year-to-date return: 27%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 3

Value of short interest: $3.2 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs


3. AT&T Inc.

source
Mike Mozart/flickr

Ticker: T

Short interest as % of float cap: 1%

Year-to-date return: 47%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 3

Value of short interest: $4 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs


2. AbbVie Inc.

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FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
source
Reuters

Ticker: ABBV

Short interest as % of float cap: 4%

Year-to-date return: 2%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 8

Value of short interest: $5.2 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs


1. Bristol-Myers Squibb

caption
Logo of global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb is pictured on the blouse of an employee in Le Passage
source
Reuters

Ticker: BMY

Short interest as % of float cap: 9%

Year-to-date return: 17%

Number of hedge funds with stock as a top 10 holding: 11

Value of short interest: $8.5 billion

Source: Goldman Sachs