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GameStop Short Nightmare Shows Few Signs of Becoming a Contagion

  • Barclays says short sales are too small to sway the market
  • JPMorgan calls pullback likely ‘short-lived technical tumble’
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GameStop Rally Wreaks Havoc on Wall Street

GameStop Corp.’s surge has struck fear into anyone caught on the wrong side of its ascent. But those bearish positions probably aren’t big enough to lay low the larger universe of investment funds.

That’s the view of Barclays Plc strategists led by Maneesh Deshpande. By plotting the value of bearish equity bets versus the whole market’s capitalization, they found that short sales have actually dwindled during the past year to the lowest level since at least 2008. Moreover, those most-heavily shorted companies targeted by day traders this year had bearish wagers amounting to less than 0.001% of the $43 trillion market.