Short Sellers Move Into Financials, Out Of Tech

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