A short sale is generally the sale of a stock you do not own. Investors who sell short stock believe the price will fall. If the price drops, you can buy the stock at the lower price and make a profit. If the price of the stock rises and you buy it back later at the higher price, you will incur a loss. When you sell short, your brokerage firm loans you the stock. The stock you borrow comes from either the firms own inventory, the margin account of another of the firms clients, or another brokerage firm. As with buying stock on margin, your brokerage firm will charge you interest on the loan, and you are subject to the margin rules. If the stock you borrow pays a dividend, you must pay the dividend to the person or firm making the loan.
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