NYSE Group says short interest down 0.3 pct in late January

NEW YORK Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:21pm EST

NEW YORK Feb 11 (Reuters) - Short interest on the New York Stock Exchange edged down 0.3 percent in late January, the exchange said on Monday, suggesting a slight decrease in bearish sentiment in the stock market.

As of Jan. 31, short interest decreased to about 12.794 billion shares, compared with 12.833 billion shares as of Jan. 15.

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.