Sunday, 1 July 2012

Why is the price of yesterday's IPO falling, when there are more shares held long than short?

Because more people are selling or shorting the moviestock than buying or covering it.

The only trades that matter for today’s price change are trades that have been made today.

Trades made while the price is frozen – like on the day the moviestock IPOs, or adjusts – do not affect price.

But maybe you check today's trading volume and discover that 5,000,000 shares have been traded today.  If there are only 1,000,000 shares held short, that implies that at least 4,000,000 shares were bought today, right?

No. Traders also have the option to sell shares they already own.

Some traders will sell out of a moviestock that they see falling in price.  Selling puts downward pressure on price, and increases the trading volume.

Other traders will decide to flip the moviestock by selling the shares they own and then shorting the same moviestock.  Selling and shorting puts more downward pressure on price, and has double the impact on trading volume.

The number of trades from selling and flipping can easily outweigh the number of shares bought, and with more sell and short trades than buy trades, the moviestock price will fall.

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