NASDAQ Short Sellers Back Off Tech (INTC)(DELL)(YHOO)(JAVA)

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According to NASDAQ figures on short selling on February 29, share sold short in tech companies dropped sharply, an indication that investors are not willing to bet that stocks in the companies will go lower. The numbers compare to figures on February 14.

Shares sold short in Intel (INTC) dropped 5.8 million to 64.1 million. Shares short in Dell (DELL) fell 5.3 million to 47.1 million. Share short in PMC-Sierra dropped 3.7 million to 29 million. Yahoo!’s (YHOO) short interest fell 2.5 million to 52.8 million. Shares short in Apple (AAPL) dropped 2.2 million to 22.8 million. Shares short in Sun (JAVA) dropped 2.1 million to 17.8 million.

Some of the largest techs did not escape larger bets that they would drop. Shares short in Microsoft (MSFT) rose 3.4 million to 115.7 million, perhaps because of concerns about the Yahoo! deal. Shares short in Cisco (CSCO) increased 3.3 million to 48.6 million.

Largest Short Positions

Company                                      Shares Sold Short

Level 3 (LVLT)                               198.3 million

Microsoft                                      115.7 million

Sirius (SIRI)                                  100.2 million

Charter (CHTR)                              91.5 million

E*Trade (ETFC)                             87.7 million

Intel                                             64.1 million

Comcast                                      63.9 million

Yahoo!                                         52.8 million

Cisco                                           48.6 million

Dell                                              47.1 million

Data from Nasdaq and WSJ

Douglas A. McIntyre