Year-to-Date Performance of the SEC's No-Short List

By Dr. Duru written for One-Twenty

September 21, 2008

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Now that the U.S. government has accelerated its activism on behalf of propping up stock prices, I thought I would take a look at the year-to-date (YTD) performance of the stocks on the SEC's no-short list. I took a look at the list as of September 19, 2008. Certainly, this list could expand given the bold move of Australian authorities to ban ALL short sales in their stock market. I removed any stock that had less than 25,000 shares of daily trading volume over the YTD period. I also removed three stocks that were not trading last year. These steps dropped the SEC's no-short list from 799 to 444 stocks. Of these 444 stocks, an amazing 46% have positive gains for the year now. I would say that such performance is pretty good, especially considering the S&P 500 is down 15% year-to-date. Given the poor prospects for the American economy going forward, I am guessing that there are a whole lot of shorts who are itching to get back into the game. See the chart below:

YTD Performance of SEC's No-Short List

(Click here for my initial opinion on the banning of short-selling on financial stocks)

Here is a guide for reading this chart:
  1. x-axis: This is the range of year-to-date price performance. For you math majors, the "(" means exclusive of the range, the "]" means inclusive of the range. For example, (0% to 20%] represents a price range from 0 to 20% excluding 0%.
  2. y-axis: This represents the percentage of the 444 stocks that each bar in the graph represents. Each bar is labelled with the value from the y-axis. For example, 24.1% of the 444 stocks from the SEC's no-short list have YTD performance of within the range of (0% to 20%].
  3. The bar: The height of each bar in the graph represents what percentage of stocks fall within the range of price performance shown underneath the bar.
There is one major limitation to this chart. It says nothing about the market cap of the stocks in this list. If you would like to see my raw data, you can download the spreadsheet by clicking here.

Finally, I also scanned through the 160 stocks of financial institutions that I track from time-to-time. I came up with an amazing number of stocks that are at least back to January, 2008 prices. If you insist on buying financial stocks here - I am not touching them for anything more than a quick trade until after the ban on shorting is lifted - perhaps you want to start from the list of the strongest. Here are the ticker symbols of the ones I came up listed in order of their one-day price performance on Friday: rf, mi, pjc, wbs, snbc, hban, wl, amtd, pnsn, etfc, sov, zion, jpm, wtfc, hnbc, cma, boh, cobz, tcb, acf, sivb, cpf, fhn, ucbi, stsa, pacw, wtny, wibc, laz, asbc, gbnk, ma, sti, bokf, nyb, cbc, cvbf, ffkt, bxs, onb, schw, wrld, trmk, ubsi, bbt, pcbc, cof, mtb, usb, snv, npbc, cffn, hbc, fult, pru, ffnw, cbsh, mbfi, nara, fmbi, news, wsbc, hbhc, gbci, caty, stl, vly, umpq, fnb, ozrk, fmer, cyn, hcbk, ffbc, ibcp, wfsl, buse, susq, ghl, town.

Be careful out there!

Full disclosure: Long S&P 500 in an index mutual fund (hedged). For other disclaimers click here.

DR. DURU®, 2008