Department stores had never seen anything quite like it. Across the land, a surge of buying sent sales to an alltime record the announcement that the short interest (i.e., the number of shares sold short in anticipation of a decline) had risen 61,311 shares in the last month to 2,267,481, the highest since July 1932, was good news to the bulls. They argued that a further advance would result when the bears scurried to buy back the shares they had sold short. And any decline, ran the argument, would be cushioned...

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