GOLDMAN SACHS: Heavily shorted stocks have nearly doubled in value over the past 3 months amid a retail 'trading boom' — and these 40 are Wall Street's biggest targets right now

  • Goldman Sachs says Americans have added $1 trillion to money market mutual funds in the pandemic.
  • That means retail traders’ influence on the market should only grow in the months ahead.
  • Goldman says that money could continue to blow up big short bets, just like it did with GameStop.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The GameStop short squeeze and stock bonanza might have felt like a once-a-decade or once-in-a-lifetime event, but Goldman Sachs says it could happen again, and soon.

Even if there were many ways the social media-fueled frenzy in GameStop and AMC Networks and Bed Bath & Beyond was unique, many of its most notable ingredients are still there, according to Goldman Sachs. Chief among them are these two: There are a lot of big short bets on the market, and retail investors still have a ton of money.

While short bets against the average stock are low and hedge funds are dumping exposure, Goldman Chief US Equity Strategist David Kostin says there are still huge bets against specific stocks — including GameStop and its recent short-squeeze peers.

“In the last three months, a basket containing the 50 Russell 3000 stocks with market caps above $1 billion and the largest short interest as a share of float has rallied by 98%,” Kostin wrote in a research note published January 29.

He says that’s unmatched in any other period. And while shorts against the average Russell 3000 stock are small — Kostin says the average short interest as a percentage of the total share float is only 3% — the heavily-shorted stocks can still blow up, and it would cause hedge funds just as much pain as it did in January. 

“In recent years elevated crowding, low turnover, and high concentration have been consistent patterns, boosting the risk that one fund’s unwind could snowball through the market,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Kostin says retail investors have a ton of money they could invest, in news the members of r/Wallstreetbets might be happy to hear.

“More than 50% of the $5 trillion in money market mutual funds is owned by households and is $1 trillion greater than before the pandemic,” he wrote. “Regulatory actions, broker risk limits, or unexpected losses could all dampen the activity … But otherwise, an abundance of US household cash should continue to fuel the trading boom.”

Now that everyone is aware of the hidden potential in heavily shorted stocks, Kostin is identifying the biggest short interest targets on the market.

The 40 stocks listed here had the largest bets against them of any Russell 3000 stocks as of January 29. They’re ranked from lowest to highest based on the short interest as a percentage of their overall share float.

40. OPKO Health

Ticker: OPK

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $3.8 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 25%

Source: Goldman Sachs

39. vTv Therapeutics

Ticker: VTVT

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $130 million

Short interest as of January 29: 25%

Source: Goldman Sachs

38. B&G Foods

Ticker: BGS

Sector: Consumer staples

Market cap: $3.1 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 25%

Source: Goldman Sachs

37. BigCommerce Holdings

Ticker: BIGC

Sector: Information technology

Market cap: $4.9 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 26%

Source: Goldman Sachs

 

36. Alpha Pro Tech

Ticker: APT

Sector: Industrials

Market cap: $257 million

Short interest as of January 29: 26%

Source: Goldman Sachs

35. Tabula Rasa Healthcare

Ticker: TRHC

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $1.3 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 26%

Source: Goldman Sachs

34. Kaleido Biosciences

Ticker: KLDO

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $454 million

Short interest as of January 29: 26%

Source: Goldman Sachs

33. TherapeuticsMD

Ticker: TXMD

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $650 million

Short interest as of January 29: 26%

Source: Goldman Sachs

32. Madrigal Pharmaceuticals

Ticker: MDGL

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $1.9 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 26%

Source: Goldman Sachs

31. Inovio Pharmaceuticals

Ticker: INO

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $2.7 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 26%

Source: Goldman Sachs

30. Continental Resources

Ticker: CLR

Sector: Energy

Market cap: $8.4 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 26%

Source: Goldman Sachs

29. BioXcel Therapeutics

Ticker: BTAI

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $1.5 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 27%

Source: Goldman Sachs

28. Bed Bath & Beyond

Ticker: BBBY

Sector: Consumer discretionary

Market cap: $3.5 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 27%

Source: Goldman Sachs

27. PetMed Express

Ticker: PETS

Sector: Consumer discretionary

Market cap: $708 million

Short interest as of January 29: 27%

Source: Goldman Sachs

26. Buckle

Ticker: BKE

Sector: Consumer discretionary

Market cap: $2.0 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 27%

Source: Goldman Sachs

25. Revlon

Ticker: REV

Sector: Consumer staples

Market cap: $595 million

Short interest as of January 29: 28%

Source: Goldman Sachs

24. Vaxart

Ticker: VXRT

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $922 million

Short interest as of January 29: 28%

Source: Goldman Sachs

23. Seritage Growth Properties

Ticker: SRG

Sector: Real estate

Market cap: $759 million

Short interest as of January 29: 28%

Source: Goldman Sachs

22. Intercept Pharmaceuticals

Ticker: ICPT

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $1.1 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 28%

Source: Goldman Sachs

21. Fulgent Genetics

Ticker: FLGT

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $4.2 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 30%

Source: Goldman Sachs

20. Retractable Technologies

Ticker: RVP

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $583 million

Short interest as of January 29: 30%

Source: Goldman Sachs

19. Tootsie Roll Industries

Ticker: TR

Sector: Consumer staples

Market cap: $2.1 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 31%

Source: Goldman Sachs

18. Discovery

Ticker: DISCA

Sector: Communication services

Market cap: $22.9 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 31%

Source: Goldman Sachs

17. Zynex

Ticker: ZYXI

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $677 million

Short interest as of January 29: 31%

Source: Goldman Sachs

16. Rocket Companies

Ticker: RKT

Sector: Financials

Market cap: $40.8 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 31%

Source: Goldman Sachs

15. Ontrak

Ticker: OTRK

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $1.6 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 32%

Source: Goldman Sachs

14. SunPower

Ticker: SPWR

Sector: Information technology

Market cap: $8.4 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 32%

Source: Goldman Sachs

13. Marcus

Ticker: MCS

Sector: Communication services

Market cap: $532 million

Short interest as of January 29: 32%

Source: Goldman Sachs

12. AMC Networks

Ticker: AMCX

Sector: Communication services

Market cap: $2.0 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 33%

Source: Goldman Sachs

11. Precigen

Ticker: PGEN

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $1.8 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 33%

Source: Goldman Sachs

10. National Beverage

Ticker: FIZZ

Sector: Consumer staples

Market cap: $5.5 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 35%

Source: Goldman Sachs

9. Accelerate Diagnostics

Ticker: AXDX

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $750 million

Short interest as of January 29: 36%

Source: Goldman Sachs

8. Esperion Therapeutics

Ticker: ESPR

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $896 million

Short interest as of January 29: 38%

Source: Goldman Sachs

 

7. Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ticker: LGND

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $3.4 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 39%

Source: Goldman Sachs

6. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers

Ticker: SKT

Sector: Real estate

Market cap: $1.4 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 41%

Source: Goldman Sachs

5. International Flavors & Fragrances

Ticker: IFF

Sector: Materials

Market cap: $33.7 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 41%

Source: Goldman Sachs

4. Clovis Oncology

Ticker: CLVS

Sector: Healthcare

Market cap: $842 million

Short interest as of January 29: 42%

Source: Goldman Sachs

3. GameStop

Ticker: GME

Sector: Consumer discretionary

Market cap: $3.6 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 43%

Source: Goldman Sachs

2. Gogo

Ticker: GOGO

Sector: Communication services

Market cap: $1.2 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 43%

Source: Goldman Sachs

1. Academy Sports and Outdoors

Ticker: ASO

Sector: Consumer discretionary

Market cap: $2.3 billion

Short interest as of January 29: 46%

Source: Goldman Sachs

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