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10 of the Market’s Most Shorted Stocks

When can negativity be used for something positive? Well, in the market, a quick look at the most shorted stocks could unearth potential.

The typical investor's approach to the market is buying low, then selling high. This simple approach also is the wisest for most buy-and-holders in that it allows them to ride the market's natural long-term tendency to edge its way ever higher.

But investors also can first sell high, then buy that stock back in the future at (hopefully) a lower price. The practice is called short selling: selling shares you don't own yet, knowing you must buy them back in the future to close out your trade.

It's not for the faint of heart. The risk in short sales is theoretically infinite because a stock's price can continue rising in perpetuity. A trader eventually will have to buy a stock he or she has shorted to close a short position out, and sometimes because the stock's price is moving higher, not lower. When some short trades are dire enough, the brokerage firm handling the trade will force the buyback.

These forced buybacks also create opportunities for more conventional investors. The most shorted stocks also have built-in armies of buyers waiting in the wings. If they're pushed hard enough by fear of losses stemming from a rising stock price, they'll "cover" their short positions - by buying the stock - fanning already bullish flames.

Here are 10 of the stock market's most shorted stocks. While a large chunk of Wall Street is bearish on these names, the potential for a wave of short-covering is on the table.

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