Short sellers up about $114 bln in 2022 amid U.S. market slide- S3 Partners

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A specialist trader works inside a booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 18, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

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NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Amid the U.S. stock market's slide to start the year, short sellers are up about $114 billion in realized and unrealized gains so far in 2022 as of Friday, or an 11.6% increase, according to financial analytics firm S3 Partners.

According to S3, 79% of money in short positions have produced profitable returns in January.

Declines in software and services stocks led to the biggest gain among industries, a 19.2% return for shorts so far this month, according to S3.

The profitable start to the year for short sellers marks a turnaround from 2021, when the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) rose nearly 27%. Last year, short sellers were down $150.5 billion in realized and unrealized losses, or 13.2%, according to S3, with the biggest industry losses for shorts in energy and semiconductors.

This year, though, the S&P 500 is down 7.5%. Stocks endured a roller-coaster session on Monday, with the S&P 500 ending up about 0.3% after falling as much as 4% during the day.

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Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf Editing by Chris Reese, Bernard Orr

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