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Short sellers returned to profit in August following two months of losses as U.S. stocks’ rally hit a pause after a steady climb this year, data and analytics company Ortex said.

The bearish investors made $14.8 billion on aggregate last month after shedding $16.5 billion in July and losing $37 billion in June, according to Ortex.

The S&P 500 snapped a five-month winning streak in August as a rise in U.S. Treasury yields weighed on shares of heavyweight growth stocks such as Apple and Microsoft , whose future cash flows are discounted more with a rise in rates.

Healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson was the most profitable short trade last month, with short sellers reaping about $1.3 billion, Ortex data showed.

J&J unveiled the first outlook for its standalone drugs and medical device businesses late last month after completing the spinoff of its consumer health company Kenvue.

On the flip side, shares of chip designer Nvidia, which jumped to record levels after a $25 billion buyback and quarterly revenue forecast above estimates, cost short sellers $540 million in losses, the biggest losing bet for the second month in a row, Ortex said.

The electric-vehicle firm Lion Electric currently has the highest “Ortex short score,” which indicates the stock is heavily-shorted and has other characteristics that increase the possibility of a short squeeze.

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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 23/02/24 4:00pm EST.

SymbolName% changeLast
Microsoft Corp
Johnson & Johnson
Nvidia Corp
Lion Electric CO [The]

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