NYSE short interest rose 4.8 percent in mid-February

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Scenes near Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), in New York

NEW YORK, Feb 25 – Short interest on the New York Stock Exchange rose 4.8 percent in mid-February, the exchange said on Friday.

As of Feb. 15, short interest rose to about 15.368 billion shares, compared with 14.662 billion shares as of Jan. 31.

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.