Short sellers increased their positions in a number of telecom and tech stocks.
Shares sold short in AT&T (NYSE: T) rose 14% to 58.2 million. The short interest in Verizon (NYSE: VZ) rose 15.6% to 54.6 million. The market has probably become concerned that drops in landline customers is no longer being made up for by growth in cellular subscriptions. The four largest wireless companies have 275 million customers in the US.
Shares short in several wireless handset and chip stocks also rose. Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) shares short increased 16% to 42.2 million. The short interest in Motorola (NYSE: MOT) moved higher by 18% to 46.7 million. The short interest in Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) was up 20% to 41.5 million.
The cellular pessimism was not confined to the US. Shares short in China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) rose 55% to 7.3 million.
Shares short changes in major tech stocks was mixed. Shares short in Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) rose 4% to 86.6 million. The short interest in Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) fell 2% to 68.2 million. Shares short in Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) were up 7% to 43.9 million. The short interest in Oracle rose 20% to 38.3 million probably because its shares reached a nine-year high.
Douglas A. McIntyre