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Hedgers return

Short interest of shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange stood around 14 billion shares as of Aug. 31. Energy, consumer discretionary and IT stocks were the most shorted sectors and also saw the most significant upticks from a year ago. Short interest dropped significantly following the 2016 U.S. election, but increased steadily into 2017. The three aforementioned sectors also saw the widest swings over the past 12 months in short positions and had significant upticks in the ratio of shorted shares to total float, or their short interest ratios.