By Andrew Boord, Portfolio Manager – Fenimore Small Cap Strategy
There is much discussion lately about highly shorted stocks getting squeezed higher, like GME (GameStop Corp.) — not a Fenimore holding.
- Short-Selling Basics: A short seller expects a stock price to decline. First, they borrow someone else’s shares and sell them at the market price. Later, they must return those shares to the rightful owner by going into the market to buy the same number of shares back (known as “covering”). If the stock price falls between the sale and the cover, then they earn a profit.
- Short Squeeze: A short squeeze can occur when a security has a relatively high, short interest. If other market participants buy shares pushing the price higher, the losses for short sellers can become extremely painful and cause the shorts in turn to buy more shares to cover their short positions. A squeeze is wave after wave of short sellers forced to buy shares to cover their shorts at higher and higher prices.