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Investors are ramping up short bets against these electric vehicle makers, smallcap healthcare names


Electric vehicle companies Lucid , Fisker and Nikola have had a tough year — and Wall Street expects these stocks have even more downside potential. Lucid is the most heavily shorted stock on Wall Street, with 191.5 million shares sold short as of Aug. 15, according to data from FactSet. Those short bets accounted for more than 47% of Lucid’s free float of shares, or the number of shares available for trading. Nikola, which manufactures electric trucks, has seen its short interest jump by nearly 14% to 157.7 million shares, or 27.3% of its float. Although EV startup Fisker’s short interest declined 4.9% to 81.6 million shares, or 42.7% of its float, the company is still the third-most shorted stock on Wall Street. The three EV stocks are all lower for the year. Nikola shares have tumbled nearly 39% in 2023, and now sell for little more than $1 each. The stock has collapsed 51% in August alone after it had to recall all its battery-electric semitrucks semitrucks earlier in the month. Meanwhile, Fisker and Lucid have lost 17% and 7%, respectively. A number of small-cap health care companies also made the list. More than a third of Arcutis Biotherapeutics ‘s free-float shares have been shorted by Wall Street, or 15.5 million shares. To be sure, the stock jumped 10.6% midday Tuesday after Arcutis launched its first television ad for an acne treatment cream. Shares are still down 40% year to date. Short interest in IGM Biosciences and scPharmaceuticals also rose around 10%, to roughly 6 million shares each, or approximately 29% of float. Liver disease treatment company Intercept Pharmaceuticals also saw a 12% jump in short interest, with 9.5 million shares sold short. In June, the company faced a setback after the Food and Drug Administration rejected a rfor accelerated approval for its non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) liver disease treatment. As a result, the company said it would discontinue all NASH-related investments and restructure its operations instead on rare and serious liver diseases to expedite a path to profitability starting in 2024. Intercept CEO Jerry Durso said in a statement that “taking decisive action to reshape Intercept will improve our long-term ability to grow our business, innovate for patients, and create value for shareholders.” Intercept shares have lost 13% in 2023. Below is the full list of the most shorted stocks from July 31 to August. The following names trade on the NYSE or Nasdaq with market values of at least $100 million. Short positions on these stocks comprise at least 25% of their float. To be sure, if August’s sell-off ends and doesn’t extend into September, some of these stocks could rally thanks to a short squeeze caused by investors buying back stock that was sold short.

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