With one exception, the most shorted stocks traded on the Nasdaq in the two-week period that ended May 31 did not get a lot of action. That’s not terribly surprising given that the Nasdaq Composite Index rose by just 1.2% in the same period and volatility remained in check.
Judging by the most shorted stocks traded on the Nasdaq between the May 15 and May 30 settlement dates, short sellers added to their positions in the most shorted stocks. The two stocks at the top of the list saw small increases in the number of shares that were short, but the third-most shorted stock experienced a massive increase.
Note that still just two Nasdaq stocks had more than 100 million shares short as of the most recent settlement date.
The more than 206.74 million Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) shares that were short after the last two weeks of this month amounted to just 0.1% or so more than on the previous settlement date. This was the third-lowest level of short interest in the past year, and it totaled 15.8% of the available float. The average daily volume has shrunk in seven of the past eight periods, and the number of days to cover inched up to nearly 13. Sirius’ stock price was $7.22 at the trading day’s close yesterday. Its 52-week low is $5.09 and the 52-week high is $7.33, a multiyear high posted this week.
By the end of May, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) had about 174.57 million shares short. That was almost a million more than the total on the previous settlement date, and it was the lowest level of short interest since February. The average daily volume rose by more than 5 million, and the number of days it would take to cover all short positions slipped from about four to just over three and a half. The stock closed trading most recently at $15.73 a share and the 52-week range is $9.04 to $15.97.
On May 15, medical device maker Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN) asked shareholders to approve a 1-for-100 reverse stock split at the company’s June 4 annual general meeting. Short interest in the stock soared more than 34% in the two-week period until May 31. Short sellers piled in and amassed nearly 98 million shares, about half of the company’s float. Shares closed $0.03 on Monday in a 52-week range of $0.03 to $1.89.
About 83.74 million Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) shares were sold short as of the most recent settlement date. That figure was about 3.3% higher than in the prior period, and represented 1.8% of the chipmaker’s float. The latest reading was the second smallest number of shares sold short in the past year. As of mid-month, it would take nearly four days for investors to cover all their short positions. Intel closed most recently at $54.52 a share, down from the multiyear high of $57.60. The 52-week low is $33.23.
Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) short interest increased 6% in the latest period, the second-largest jump among the top movers. The more than 72.42 million shares on the most recent settlement date represented 1.6% of the total float. The year-to-date high was more than 35 million shares short back in March. The number of days to cover rose to nearly three and a half. The stock closed most recently at $32.00 per share and the 52-week trading range is $30.43 to $44.00, and that low was seen earlier this month.
Opko Health Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OPK) short interest rose about 2.8% from the previous period to more than 69.23 million shares on the most recent settlement date. That was the highest level of short interest so far this year and represented 21.3% of the total float. At the latest daily average trading volume, a year-to-date high, the number of days to cover figure slipped from 11 to 10. The 52-week trading range is $2.66 to $7.25.
Rounding out the top 10 were Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR), Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT), Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP), and Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU). The standout stock here was Micron, with a drop of nearly 8% in the number of its shares short. Short interest moves in the others were modest.
Lingering outside the spotlight of the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq stocks again in the most recent period were Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG), Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA).