Thursday, June 16, 2005

What is a short sale?

A short sale is generally the sale of a stock you do not own (or that you will borrow for delivery).1 Short sellers believe the price of the stock will fall, or are seeking to hedge against potential price volatility in securities that they own.

If the price of the stock drops, short sellers buy the stock at the lower price and make a profit. If the price of the stock rises, short sellers will incur a loss. Short selling is used for many purposes, including to profit from an expected downward price movement, to provide liquidity in response to unanticipated buyer demand, or to hedge the risk of a long position in the same security or a related security.

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