Nasdaq short interest down 3.4 pct in late Dec

NEW YORK Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:00pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 10 (Reuters) - Short interest on the Nasdaq fell 3.4 percent in late December, the exchange said on Friday.

As of Dec. 31, short interest declined to about 7.580 billion shares, compared with 7.837 billion shares as of Dec. 13.

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.

Shorting can also be part of a hedging strategy.