Short Sellers Move Into Financials, Out Of Tech

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Short sellers moved into the shares of large financial firms, perhaps sensing the effects of new regulation and an exit from proprietary trading businesses.

The short interest in Citigroup (NYSE: C) rose 4.8% to 423.8 million, the largest short position in any stock. Shares short in Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) rose 21% to 53.2 million. The short interest in Ambac, which recently went bankrupt rose 14% to 59.2 million. Share short in Bank of NY rose 27% to 21.1 million. Shares short in Synovus Financial were up 9% to 106.9 million. Shares short in KeyCorp rose 9% to 34.6 million

Short interest in tech shares fell almost universally. Shares sold short in Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) fell 9% to 70.5 million. The short interest in Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) fell 8% to 53.3 million. Shares short in Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) were down 8% to 47.9 million. Shares short in Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) were off 6% to 49.6 million

The most shorted stocks on the NYSE were Citigroup, Ford (NYSE F), and Qwest (NYSE: Q). The most shorted stocks on the NASDAQ were Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI), Level 3 (NASDAQ: LVLT) and Mylan (NASDAQ: MYL)

Data from NYSE and NASDAQ

Douglas A. McIntyre