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NYSE short interest up 3 percent in early January

Traders work on the main trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, May 20, 2013. REUTE
Traders work on the main trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, May 20, 2013. REUTE

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Short interest on the New York Stock Exchange rose 3 percent in the first half of January, the exchange said on Monday.

As of January 15, short interest rose to about 13.82 billion shares, compared to 13.42 billion shares as of December 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.

Shorting is also used as a hedging strategy.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chris Reese)

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