Hedge Funds Haven’t Been This Negative On Retail Stocks Since The Financial Crisis

by MR Magazine Staff

Hedge funds are betting more and more money against brick-and-mortar retailers. Average short interest, or bets that shares will fall, for members of the S&P 1500 retailing group now stands at 13 percent of float, according to a report last week from Bespoke Investment Group. That’s the highest level since December 2008. “Not since the depths of the financial crisis have traders been more negative on the group,” the Bespoke report said. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have struggled to compete against Amazon and other online sellers that frequently offer lower prices and greater convenience for consumers shopping from home. But that trend has seemed to accelerate this year, and hedge funds are taking notice. In the first quarter of this year, nine retailers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, matching the number of filings for all of 2016 and tracking for the highest annual figure since 2009. See more at CNBC.