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Hedge funds are amassing short bets on these winning stocks, according to Goldman

Hedge funds could be piling up short bets in a number of large-cap stocks that have outperformed this year, according to Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street firm looked at the total dollar value of short interest outstanding as an estimate of hedge fund short portfolio holdings. Goldman noted that its screen is not based on 13-F regulatory filings and it’s also different from a list of stocks with the highest percentage of short interest. Goldman said short positions in large-cap stocks can be significant on a total dollar value basis even though these stocks typically have less short interest as a percentage of shares outstanding as a result of their size. Goldman excluded companies in its long VIP list and stocks with more than 10% of float-adjusted shares held short to allow for sufficient liquidity. Exxon Mobil stood out as the stock with the biggest dollar value of short interest outstanding. Big oil names Occidental Petroleum and Chevron were also on the list. Energy has been the best performer of 2022 by far, with the S & P 500 grouping rallying more than 60%. Chevron has climbed 57% this year, while Exxon Mobil rallied 85%. Occidental is the biggest gainer in the S & P 500 year to date, soaring 145%. Hedge funds’ short positioning in these energy names could be signaling their bet on a peak in commodity prices as inflation eases. IBM also had a big short interest in the stock. The technology conglomerate has fared a lot better than its peers this year with shares rising more than 11%. IBM surpassed analysts’ estimates for the third quarter and lifted its growth projection for the full year. Hedge funds also had sizable short positions in big banks Bank of America and JPMorgan . Their stocks are both down more than 10% this year amid economic headwinds. Health care names Amgen and Pfizer were also on Goldman’s list.