NYSE short interest down 0.5 pct in early January

NEW YORK Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:48pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 25 (Reuters) - Short interest on the New York Stock Exchange dipped 0.5 percent in early January, the exchange said on Friday, suggesting a slight decrease in bearish sentiment in the stock market.

As of Jan. 15, short interest was at about 12.830 billion shares, compared with 12.893 billion shares as of Dec. 31.

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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