Shorts Stage Big Retreat From Tech Shares (AAPL)(SIRI)(MSFT)(YHOO)(INTC)(CSCO)

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According to Nasdaq data for the period ending April 15, short sellers moved aggressively out of tech shares. The figure compare with those posted on March 31.

The short interest in Microsoft (MSFT) fell 9.3 million to 109.1 million, perhaps on hopes that it will lower or drops its bid for Yahoo! (YHOO). Shares short in Intel (INTC) dropped 7.3 million to 55.9 million. The chip company’s results showed that PC sales were not slowing as much as has been expected. Shares short in Cisco (CSCO) dropped 6.8 million to 62.9 million. Shares short in RF Micro (RFMD) dropped 4.9 million to 28.7 million and shares short in Finisair (FNSR) fell 6.8 million to 15.8 million.

Shares sold short in Level 3 (LVLT) moved down 6.7 million to 237.2 million. When the company posted earnings a short squeeze appears to have helped shares rally.

Shares short in Apple (AAPL) fell 3.6 million to 18.4 million ahead of its strong earnings.

In the internet sector, shares short in Yahoo!  (YHOO) dropped 5.1 million to 36.1 million, perhaps on hopes that Microsoft will raise its offer. Shares short in Ebay (EBAY) fell 4.9 million to 26.2 million.

Short sellers bet right on Starbucks (SBUX) moved up 4.9 million to 39.8 million on a bet which paid off when the company pre-announced poor numbers.

Some investors clearly think there is no turnaournd at Dell (DELL) coming.Short interest in the company jumped 7.2 million to 49 million. Short sellers also see another set of bad numbers coming out of Sun Microsystems (JAVA). Shares sold short in the company moved up 6.9 million to 33 million.

And, a number of investors showed that they do not think a merger will do much for Sirius (SIRI). Shares sold short in the company moved up 20.2 million to 157.9 million

Data from Nasdaq

Douglas A. McIntyre.