Nasdaq short interest down 5.1 pct in late Dec

NEW YORK Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:00pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 10 (Reuters) - Short interest on the Nasdaq declined 5.1 percent in late December, the exchange said on Thursday, suggesting a decrease in bearish sentiment in the stock market.

As of Dec. 31, short interest fell to about 7.202 billion shares, compared with 7.593 billion shares as of Dec. 14.

Investors who sell securities 'short' borrow shares and then sell them, expecting the stock to fall so they can buy the shares back at the lower price, return them to the lender and pocket the difference.

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