The 6 Most Shorted Nasdaq Stocks: Short Sellers Get Choosy

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Micron Technology

The number of Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) shares short, at more than 74.11 million by the end of the month, was more than 2% higher than in the previous period. And it was 7.2% of the total float, as well as the highest level of short interest in the past year. As the daily average volume in the period increased, the days to cover slipped to less than three.

Several analysts raised price targets on Micron during the period. The stock rose almost 9% in the short-interest period but ended the two weeks with about a 6% gain. It has increased further since then. Shares closed most recently at $17.15, in a 52-week range of $9.31 to $19.30.

AMD

By the end of month, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) had more than 70.78 million shares short. That was down from more than 72.20 million on the previous settlement date. The latest reading was the lowest short interest so far this year and totaled 11.0% of the company’s float. The days to cover ticked down to less than three as the average daily volume grew in the two weeks.

AMD seems to keep defying the skeptical investors. The ending share price was more than 6% higher than on the previous settlement date, though it was up more than 10% at one point. The stock reached a new 52-week high of $8.00 in August, but shares closed at $5.94 on Monday. The 52-week low is $1.65.

Opko Health

Opko Health Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OPK) short interest, at around 69.65 million shares as of the most recent settlement date, was down around 1% from the previous period. That was 21.2% of the total float. The daily average volume shrank modestly during the two weeks, and by the end of the month, the days to cover had risen from near 22 to more than 24.

Opko completed its acquisition of Transition Therapeutics in late August. The stock closed Monday at $9.89, in a 52-week range of $7.12 to $11.85. The share price ended the two-week short-interest period almost 10% lower, though it has recovered more than 7% since that time.

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And Others

Rounding out the top 10 were Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) and Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR).  Note that short sellers abandoned Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Huntington Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN), allowing them to drop out of the top 10. In fact, Huntington has fallen out of the top 50.

Others that made notable moves away from the top 10 in the most recent period were Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL).