Are Short Sellers Making the Right Bet on Apple?

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) watched its short interest rise from a year-to-date low in the period ended on July 31. Meanwhile, Apple’s stock has risen 7% in the past month, hitting a new all-time high. Although the iPhone giant is building momentum toward the $1 trillion market cap, it seems to be attracting more attention from short sellers looking for a pullback.

For the period ended July 31, Apple saw its short interest increase to 40.31 million from the previous level of 39.15 million. This is an increase of about 3%.

There has been a great deal of discussion about how Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) or Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) might pass Apple in terms of market capitalization. Apple has held the top spot for years and sits at $815 billion.

Recently, worries about the iPhone 8 and optimism about Amazon’s share of e-commerce made it appear the Jeff Bezos–led company could catch Apple. Alphabet’s Google search dominance and the growth of divisions like YouTube might have given it a chance to make a run at Apple.

Compared to Apple’s market cap of $815 billion, Amazon’s is $474 billion and Alphabet’s is $649 billion. Apple’s shares would have to plunge, or the shares of the others would have to make unprecedented surges, for either to catch the consumer electronics giant. In a sense, the short sellers would win big if this was the case.

Excluding Thursday’s move, Apple is the second-best-performing Dow stock, with shares up just over 36% year to date. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock is up closer to 45%.

Shares of Apple were last seen down 1.2% at $158.44 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $167.98 and a 52-week range of $102.53 to $161.83.