SEC rule cuts short selling activity

A US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ban on naked shorting of the major banks and mortgage companies has sharply reduced short sales on the targeted stocks, according to market data.

The ban was brought in on July 21 to counteract rumours that have surrounded banks such as Lehman Brothers in recent months. After the first day's trading, shorting of the 17 stocks named by the SEC had fallen by 70%, and shorting of the troubled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped by 90%, according to

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