Short Sellers Bet Against Tech And Apple

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Most technology company first quarter earnings have been relatively good. Businesses and consumers have begun to return to the market for servers, PCs, and software. The demand for smartphones and tablets is nothing short of extraordinary. Tech may be in the midst of a period of success which it has not had since well before the recession.

Short sellers do not believe the tech story. This may be because the values of many stocks in the sector are up so much. It may be because the shorts think the  economy is about to slow and tech sales will suffer along with it.

The short interest in most of the largest tech stocks rose in the period that ended on April 29.

Shares short in Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) were up 15% to 71.5 million. The short interest in Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) rose 20% to 29.8 million, so enterprise tech stocks have not been spared. Shares short in Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) rose 15% to 31.3 million. Surprisingly, the short interest in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) rose more on a percentage basis than RIM’s–up 16% to 13.3 million.

Shares short in Akamia (NASDAQ: AKAM) rose 59% to 8.7 million. The short interest in Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) was up 16% to 22 million. Shares sold short in security software company Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) rose 42% to 8.9 million. The short interest in Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) was up 10% to 26 million.

Shares short in NetApp (NASDAQ : NTAP) were up 10% to 20.7 million, and the short interest in Aruba Networks (NASDAQ: ARUN) was up 14% to 11.5 million.

Ironically, the shares sold short in America’s weakest large tech company, AMD (NYSE: AMD), fell 3% to 60.5 million.

Data from NASDAQ and NYSE

Douglas A. McIntyre