Short Sellers Flee Tech, Hit Weak Balance Sheets (INTC)(DELL)

Short sellers posted a mixed record on big banks. Short interest in Citigroup (C) plunged by 73% to 177.5 million shares. The short interest in Bank of America (BAC) was down 18% to 82.2 million. And, shares short in Morgan Stanley (MS) dropped 10% to 39 million.

Shares short in Fannie Mae (FNM) were up a fraction to 188.7 million. The short interest in Well Fargo (WFC) rose 5% to 90.5 million.

Companies with weak earnings prospects and poor balance sheet were hit particularly hard for the period that ended September 15. Shares sold short in Sprint (S) were up 18% to 88.6 million. Shares sold short in Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) rose 37% to 39.4 million. Short interest in Vonage (VG) was up 135% to 10.2 million. Shares short in Blockbuster (BBI) were up 28% to 25.6 million.

Short sellers retreated from many tech sector stocks. The short interest in Intel (INTC) fell 11% to 62.6 million. Shares short in Dell (DELL) fell 12% to 39.2 million. Shares short in Level 3 (LVLT) were off 4% to 87.7 million and shares short in CA (CA) dropped 33% to 7.7 million.

The only large tech stock which saw a large increase in shares short was Nvidia (NVDA) were shares sold short rose 26% to 38.7 million.

Data from NYSE and NASDAQ

Douglas A. McIntyre

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