Did investors sell in May and go away, even in the face of increasing fears of trade wars with China and U.S. allies, not to mention the specter of rising interest rates? The Nasdaq, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 did all lose some ground last month, as there were few earnings reports to help buoy them. That will soon change, for better or worse.
Judging by the most shorted stocks traded on the Nasdaq between the June 15 and June 29 settlement dates, those sellers were focused on a few of favorites. Otherwise moves among these stocks were mostly marginal and negative.
Note that still just two Nasdaq stocks had more than 100 million shares short as of the most recent settlement date.
The approximately 215.40 million Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) shares short after the final two weeks of last month was 1% or so less than on the previous settlement date, which had been the highest level of short interest since March. The latest reading totaled 16.5% of the available float. The average daily volume nearly matched a year-to-date high, shrinking the days to cover from more than 15 to about eight.
Sirius stock was downgraded by Goldman Sachs and others during the period. The stock ended the short interest period trading more than 4% lower, though it had been up about 8% at one point. The Nasdaq was just shy of flat between the settlement dates. Sirius stock closed at $7.05 on Wednesday. The 52-week low of $5.17 was reached early this year, while the $7.70 multiyear high was seen last month.
By the end of June, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) had around 164.30 million shares short. That was 7.7 million or so less than the total on the previous settlement date, and it was the lowest level of short interest since February. The latest reading still represented 18.1% of the company’s float. The average daily volume decreased, but the number of days it would take to cover all short positions stayed about two.
Some analysts saw Nvidia as a better bet than AMD during the period. AMD shares did end the latest short interest period around 4% higher, and it has risen even more since then. The stock closed trading most recently at $16.27 a share, which is almost 41% higher year to date. Shares have changed hands at between $9.04 and $17.34 apiece in the past year.