Do Short Sellers Exploit Industry Information?
48 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2015 Last revised: 22 Sep 2018
Date Written: October 6, 2016
This study provides new evidence about short sellers’ trading strategies by showing that short sellers exploit firm information in combination with industry information in their trades. In industries with the highest aggregate shorted values, the most-shorted stocks earn about 1.535% lower abnormal returns than other highly shorted stocks in less shorted industries over the next six months. These results are likely driven by short sellers’ preference for complex industries with the highest profit potential. We also show that the aggregate shorted value at the industry level is able to predict important industry shifts, such as declines in sales and increased competition. Overall, our results suggest that short sellers help to reduce information complexity and improve economic efficiency at the industry level.
Keywords: Financial Distress, Industry Information, Pricing efficiency, Short selling
JEL Classification: G10, G12, G14
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