WALL STREET: Too Many Bears?

Not in 16 years had Wall Street seen so many bears. They were counted officially last week in the New York Stock Exchange's monthly report on the "short interest"—i.e., the number of shares sold short against an anticipated decline. By mid-May, the short interest had risen 130,058 in a month to 1,628,551 shares, the biggest total since the bank panic of February 1933, when it reached a peak of 1,894,632 shares (but far below the record high of 5,589,700 in May 1931).

The market gave the bears some mild encouragement; the Dow-Jones industrial average closed last week at 173.49. off...

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