The higher this number, the more likely a short squeeze is coming. Both short interest and SIR are on stock quote and screener websites such as FinViz. A short squeeze occurs when a stock moves higher and short sellers decide to cover their short positions or are forced to do so via margin calls. As these short sellers buy the stock, the price rises, potentially creating a situation in which more shorts have to cover. When a heavily shorted stock unexpectedly rises in price, the short sellers may have to act fast to limit their losses.


If you’re a long-term investor who happens to own a stock that’s getting squeezed, it’s probably not a good time to trade. Instead of acting on emotions, remember what got you to where you are in your investing journey—and where you’d like to be. If participating in a stock that’s in squeeze territory doesn’t fall within your long-term objectives, you might want to step aside and not trade. If you do decide to venture in, make sure you have no illusions and no misconceptions of the dangers. Understand that when you’re dealing with a stock that’s being squeezed, you’re taking a big risk.

Short squeezes may also be more likely to occur when a large percentage of a stock’s float is short, and when large portions of the stock are held by people not tempted to sell. You identify a stock you believe is overvalued and take a short position. Borrowing and selling shares at today’s high price in anticipation the price will go down and you will be able to buy replacement shares at a much lower price.

If any stock suddenly experiences a sharp increase in the overall numbers of shares bought, this may be one of the first signs of a likely short squeeze to follow. Taking a short position on a stock can bring you a profit if you predict the market correctly, but there is a huge potential downside, with losses much greater than potential rewards. However, many factors can lead to a stock’s value going up instead, whether in a temporary or permanent way. A positive news story, buzz on social media, or a new product announcement might gain positive traction for a company’s stock prices. Short selling happens when many investors believe a stock is overvalued, and therefore will eventually decline in price. When they are correct, they can pocket the difference between the price they originally borrowed the stock at and the resale price.


On their pages, you can find, for example, the Short Interest Ratio indicator. It is also said that the hedge funds themselves manage these resources, and how much you can trust their data is a question. The broker is ready to provide a loan secured by the remaining own funds of the trader. Suppose the stock’s price goes up instead of falling at some point. In that case, the broker will automatically close the trader’s short position , buying the shares necessary to repay the loan using the trader’s deposit.

How to Avoid a Short Squeeze

To trade a short squeeze, you’d need to open a position that stands to profit from rising share prices. This means you’d open a position to buy with CFDs once you’ve identified a short squeeze. Short squeezes will usually catch the markets off guard, and oversold indicators and a high or low short interest do not guarantee that a short squeeze will happen. Often, higher than expected company earnings, technological breakthroughs or new sector-shifting products will cause prices to rise unexpectedly.

Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank, SSB , provides deposit and lending services and products. Access to Electronic Services may be limited or unavailable during periods of peak demand, market volatility, systems upgrade, maintenance, or for other reasons. The relative strength index measures the extent of price changes to determine overbought or oversold conditions in the stock market. A low RSI means that a stock is oversold and is trading at a low price, while a high RSI means that a stock is overbought and is trading at a high price.

  • Still, it’s important to understand that no one knows when a short squeeze will end.
  • The responsiveness of the trading system may vary due to market conditions, system performance, and other factors.
  • If this number increases, it can also point to a likely short squeeze.
  • When a sideways trend or a strong resistance level is broken out upside, find the reasons for the breakout.

The high Interest Ratio and the high Short Interest Percentage only indirectly suggest the likelihood of a short squeeze. It is enough for at least some of them to begin to close short positions ahead of schedule in a panic, and the price will start rising, encouraging other traders to buy. However, the company follows up the short-seller’s report with evidence that there is no fraud, and its shares start to rise.

Spotting short squeeze stocks

Add some rigor to the process by setting a firm level at which you’ll close out the short. Under this framework, if a $100 short increases to $107, you’d close out the position immediately. Ideally, this close out would happen via an automated stop-loss order established with your broker.

Retail investors bought stock and call options, and as the price increased, more short sellers from hedge funds were driven out. The other useful metric here is the “short ratio,” or “days to cover,” which is the number of days of normal trading it would take to generate enough trading volume to buy back all the shares sold short. There is no hard and fast rule here, and opinions vary widely, but a decent rule of thumb is 10 days.

If investors are using a short covering strategy with borrowed stock, they will need to buy back the shares which they have borrowed to open the short position before the expiration date arrives. The expiration date in a short cover is the date on which the borrower agrees to return the stock to the lender. This is a price increase that forces sellers to exit shorts at a loss, thereby pushing the price up even more and faster. The reason for a short squeeze may be the conspiracy of buyers to start simultaneous purchases or news that turned out to be positive despite most negative forecasts.

What Happens During A Short Squeeze?

Corporate fraud has frequently been uncovered in public reports published by short-sellers. However, the notion that hedge funds are somehow responsible for the downfall of such companies is misguided, to say the least. Bitcoin price expectation for 2023, 2025 and 2030 Feb 10, 2023 As the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has the longest price history of them all. What do more than thirteen years of data tell us about the future price of Bitcoin?

At the initial stage of a short squeeze in the accumulation zone, the price rises slowly. You need to open a long when the price is in the accumulation zone. After the end of the short squeeze, buyers begin to sell off shares, which creates a gap. If the buyer opened a long position too late and did not close it on time, there is a risk of losing money. It is preceded by stops set at different price levels for high-volume short trades. When the price reaches the nearest level on the rise, there is a search for the buyers’ volumes corresponding to the short position.

short squeeze

Assume that because of the huge short interest, Medicom shares had declined from $15 a few months ago to $5. Then, the news comes out that Medicom’s drug works better than expected. Medicom’s shares jump to $9, as speculators buy the stock and short sellers scramble to cover their short positions. All types of investments are risky and investors may suffer losses. Past performance of investment products does not guarantee future results. The responsiveness of the trading system may vary due to market conditions, system performance, and other factors.

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These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy. Gordon Scott has been an active investor and technical analyst or 20+ years.

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This is an illegal activity per the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Naked shorting still occurs in the market, however, and it contributes to short squeezes by allowing additional shorting that may not actually exist. However, naked shorting in a short squeeze can also help balance the stock market when it forces a price drop.

Account access and trade execution may be affected by factors such as market volatility. A short squeeze happens when many investors bet that a stock price will go down, but the stock price rises instead. When you short a stock, you’re essentially borrowing shares using a margin account. You then immediately sell the borrowed shares in hopes that the share price will drop. If you’re right, you can buy the stock for a lower price and return it to the owner. Your profit is the difference between the price you sold the stock for and what you paid to buy it back.

One short seller had a huge position in the stock, and short interest was greater than the number of shares of outstanding stock. Even relatively modest rises in the stock could stoke a squeeze. Contrarian investors may buy stocks with heavy short interest to exploit the potential for a short squeeze. A rapid rise in the stock price is attractive, but it is not without risks. The stock may be heavily shorted for good reason, such as a dismal future outlook. Short sellers zero in on a stock that they think is overvalued by the market.