If investors had a notion that short sellers were going to stay in big financials, they were wrong. Short interest in the weakest companies in the sector dropped. Shares short in Citigroup (C) fell 22% to 142.6 million shares. Shares short in CIT (CIT) were down 13% to 49.5 million. The short interest in AIG (AIG) dropped 4% to 135.6 million. Short interest in NCC (NCC) moved off 17% to 24.2 million shares. Shares short in Bank of America (BAC) were down 4% to 105.4 million even though many analysts believe the company will have to raise money.
The focus of the short sellers moved to the healthy financial firms on bets that they will sell off like their less successful peers. Shares short in JPMorgan (JPM) rose 29% to 5.2 million. The short interest in Wells Fargo (WFC) was up 7% to 133.2 million.
Short sellers jump into stock in big industrials. Shares sold short in GE (GE) were up 34% to 106.4 million. The short interest in Ford (F) moved higher by 7% to 268.5 million.
In the tech sectors, short sellers made a retreat. Shares short in Intel (INTC) moved down 6% to 98.6 million. The short interest in Comcast (CMCSA) was fell 19% to 78.3 million. Short interest in Microsoft (MSFT) fell 3% to 72.1 million shares.
Shares short in Oracle (ORCL) dropped 17% to 47.9 million and the short interest in Yahoo! dropped 8% to 40.9 million. Shares short in Sun (JAVA) fell 5% to 29.7 million and the short interest in Symantec (SYMC) fell 10% to 29.6 million.
The short interest in Apple (AAPL) dropped 3% to 21.3 million shares.
Data from NASDAQ and NYSE
Douglas A. McIntyre