About 71.99 million Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) shares were sold short as of the most recent settlement date. That was more than a million less than at the start of the period, and it totaled 1.5% of the company’s float. It was the fourth period in a row of shrinking short interest. It would take about three days to cover all short positions.
Intel also was a top tech pick at Merrill Lynch, and the share price ended the two weeks about 7% higher than on the previous settlement date. It did retreat somewhat afterward. The stock closed at $35.09 on Tuesday. Shares have changed hands between $24.87 and $35.93 apiece in the past year.
By the middle of July, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) had more than 71.44 million shares short, which was down from around 76.39 million on the previous settlement date. The most recent reading totaled 11.1% of the company’s float, and it was the lowest short interest so far this year. The days to cover rose to more than three as the average daily volume shrank from a year-to-date high.
During the period, at least one analyst though AMD may have run too far. Still, the ending share price was about the same as on the previous settlement date. However, the stock did jump more than 28% following last week’s earnings report, reaching a new 52-week high of $7.16 on Tuesday. The 52-week low is $1.62.
Micron Technology Inc.’s (NASDAQ: MU) short interest, at around 69.38 million shares as of mid-July, was more than 4% higher than in the previous period. It was also 6.7% of the total float, as well as the second highest level of short interest so far this year. As the daily average volume retreated from a year-to-date high, the days to cover increased to more than two again.
Micron reported disappointing quarterly earnings early in July. Shares closed Tuesday at $14.67, in a 52-week range of $9.31 to $20.57, and the stock saw a share price decline of less than 5% for the two-week short-interest period. It has jumped again since the settlement date, thanks to buyout rumors.
And So On
Rounding out the top 10 were Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK), Huntington Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN), Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) and Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR). The two biotech companies saw declines in short interest, while the others had gains, though all four were modest swings.
Among those lingering outside the top 10 are BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY), Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) and Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO). Note that short sellers continue to shy away from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which saw another double-digit drop in shares short in the latest reported period.