The % Short Interest indicator is updated monthly and is only available on NYSE listed stocks. A stock's short interest is determined by dividing the number of shares sold short (as reported by the NYSE exchange) divided by the number of shares outstanding multiplied by 100.
Many traders watch short interest closely. As the % Short Interest indicator rises, it reflects a heightening bearish sentiment among investors. As it falls, it suggests that short sellers are becoming more bullish on the stock's short-term price movements.
It is common for some traders to use the % Short Interest indicator as a contrary indicator. Often times, as the % Short Interest indicator climbs higher, and if the stock price continues to rise, there will be pressure on the short sellers to cover their positions by buying shares in the stock thereby increasing the price even further.