Short Sellers Regaining Courage in High-Priced Leaders (AMZN, AAPL, BIDU, FFIV, GS, GOOG, IBM, MA, NFLX, POT, PCLN, CRM, VMW, WYNN)

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The short sellers had been exiting the high-priced market leaders for some time, but as of the January 14, 2011 settlement date we saw many issues showing an increase in the short selling activity.  Many of these are still at the lowest readings in a year and are a fraction of the 2010 peak levels, but the short sellers seem to be getting some enthusiasm again.  Our list includes Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM), Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (NYSE: POT), Priceline.com Incorporated (NASDAQ: PCLN), Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM), VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), and Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN).

We have broken these names out individually, showing the gain or decrease and a short interest share count as of the January 14, 2011 settlement date versus the December 31, 2010 settlement date, plus we have shown other short interest data for historical comparison.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) saw a decrease to 8,657,467 shares short as of January 14 settlement after a brief uptick before…. This will make today’s earnings no different as the short interest is light.  At September 30, Amazon’s short interest was over 16 million shares.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) again saw yet another drop at the January 14 settlement date to 6,664,008 shares in the short interest.  This was more than 9 million shares as recently as mid-November and the short is the lowest in months and months and is now only one-third of what it had been in February 2010.

Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) saw a rather large gain here to more than 8.889 million shares short as of January 14 versus four straight drops and versus 7.82 million shares at the end of December.