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Short interest is a figure indicating the percentage of the stock's float that is being held in short positions. It is absolutely one of many good indicators of investor sentiment. It can be a very good contrarion tool. There's an interesting effet when short interest becomes very high. You get what's known as a short squeeze. The stock gets pushed higher as the investors that are short desperately try to cover their positions, forcing the price up with a glut of buy orders. As for what's a high number, it's really sort of a relative thing, I think. You might watch it over a period of time, and if there's a dramatic increase in short interest, it could be an indicators to either buy or hold a stock.
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