A number of securities saw notable increases in short interest during the most recent reporting period, including alternative energy concern JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE:JKS), as well as retailers The Men's Wearhouse, Inc. (NYSE:MW) and The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX). Here's a quick review of these three technical standouts, all of which could ultimately benefit from this growing skepticism.
JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE:JKS) has been knocking it out of the park on the charts, soaring roughly 613% on a year-over-year basis, and touching a three-year high of $34.88 on Nov. 18. However, short interest spiked by 61.8% during the most recent reporting period -- and by 101% over the last two reporting periods -- and now accounts for a lofty 11.7% of the stock's available float. This bevy of bearish bets could end up triggering a short-squeeze situation, if the shares continue to trek higher. JKS is up 2.8% this morning to perch at $30.21, after the China-based firm announced it has signed an agreement to develop a power plant in Lingwu City.
The Men's Wearhouse, Inc. (NYSE:MW) has also been an outperformer, boasting a year-to-date advance of about 65% to trade at $51.41. In fact, the security reached its own multi-year peak of $52.72 just last week, after the specialty retailer made a bid for rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB). Nevertheless, MW saw a 37.1% surge in short interest during the first half of November, and now these shorted shares make up a healthy 7.3% of the security's float. In other words, should the stock remain northbound, it could end up benefiting from a wave of short-covering activity.
Finally, The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) has gained around 49% so far this year to wink at the $63.28 level, while also tagging a record high of $64.09 on Nov. 21, thanks to a well-received quarterly earnings report. Nevertheless, short interest rose by 39.3% during the latest reporting period, bringing the number of shares sold short to 9.4 million -- the most since early April. If the stock continues along its upward trajectory, it could spark a mass exodus by the bears, which may add even more fuel to TJX's technical tank.
Bearish sentiment toward the discount retailer is also prevalent in the options pits. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.54 for TJX, signaling puts bought to open have easily outpaced calls during the last two weeks. This ratio registers in the 82nd percentile of its annual range, meaning speculators have been scooping up puts over calls at a faster-than-usual clip lately.
Similarly, TJX's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 1.43, with puts outweighing calls among options with a shelf-life of three months or less. This ratio ranks higher than 70% of comparable readings taken over the past 12 months, conveying near-term traders are more put-focused toward the equity than usual right now. This accumulation of open interest -- particularly at the out-of-the-money December 62.50 strike, which holds peak front-month put open interest of more than 3,800 contracts -- could end up serving as options-related support over the next few weeks.
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