Someone called FINRA to ask what the short volume really means. I hope you'll call them for a clarification if you haven't done it already. Here's the post.
(Courtesy of a post made by pantherj)
The daily short interest report from FINRA is as widely misinterpreted as any report ever put out. Yet, once a few basics are understood, it becomes very logical. The huge short volume seen in the daily reports are almost instantaneously covered; within a few milliseconds or a few hours at worst.
The best explanation of this report, that I've ever seen, was posted by "Dave Patch" of "Investigatethesec.com."
Posted by: patchman Date: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 6:31:31 PM
In reply to: fourkids_9pets who wrote msg# 648 Post # of 951
Short Sale Volume Reporting’s are deceiving.
I spoke to FINRA today and found out some very interesting things that until now I did not fully understand. I knew there was something wrong with this transparency of information but was not 100% sure what it was. I think I have my answer and it was enlightening.
I was first directed to the Notice to Members memo dated 9/29/2009
The individual I spoke with wanted to make clear that to maintain proper trade volume reporting accuracy, a trade with multiple legs in the trade would only be reported once in the volume reports. The example given would be.
Investor A is long 100 shares and wants to sell. They enter the order through their broker that is routed to a market maker. That market maker will go out and sell the stock into the market before they have bought the stock from you/your broker to close out their account. They do not take possession first as there is no guarantee they can sell the order into the market. By this Notice, the actual sale INTO the market is a short sale because the market maker sold the stock into the market BEFORE they had purchased the stock from you. It is a technicality since they know there position will be closed out minutes later when they go in and buy your shares. To avoid doubling up on trade volume and distorting the picture, only the sale into the market (consolidated tape) is recorded and not the second leg which was the sale transaction between seller and market maker.
So, this is why the short sale volume is high but also why the FTD’s and bi-Monthly short interest reports are not showing any indications of this volume. The short isn’t really a short it is the execution of a long sale by a market maker.
The key language in the FINRA notice is this:
"The Daily Short Sale Volume File will provide daily access to the aggregate volume of short sales in NMS Stocks and OTC Equity Securities reported to a consolidated tape and traded over-the-counter during regular trading hours on each trading day."