When you see the percentage of the market being shorted getting higher, you can gather there is a bearish mentality in the current market settings. This type of statistic can be used in both fundamental research as well as technical. If you’ve been around the market long enough, you will have heard the term a short squeeze. When this occurs, it is when the market is going up and short sellers begin buying shares to cover their positions, contributing to the upward trend.
Shorting a market is when you borrow shares from a broker; sell them on the market, and then buying them back at hopefully a lower price, returning the shares to the lender. The short ratio is essentially letting the market know the number of share being shorted of that equity. Also, it can tell you how long it will take the borrower to buy those shares back.