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Section: 2 Flow of Funds
1) Short Interest: It is the total number of shares of stock currently sold short in the market. Some technicians interpret high levels of short interest as bullish, some as bearish. The bullish perspective is that, because all short sales must be covered (i.e. short-sellers eventually must purchase shares to return the ones they have borrowed), short interest represents latent future demand for the stocks. As short sales are covered, the demand created by the share purchase will force prices up. The bearish interpretation of short interest is based on the fact that short-sellers tend to be larger, more sophisticated investors. Accordingly, increased short interest reflects bearish sentiment by those investors “in the know” which would be a negative signal of the market’s prospects.
2) Credit Balance in Brokerage Account: Investors with brokerage accounts will often leave credit balances in those accounts when they plan to invest in the near future. Thus, credit balances may be viewed as measuring the potential for new stock purchases. As a result, a buildup of balances is viewed as a bullish indicator for the market.