Microsoft posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results during the period, in what it called a “record fiscal year.” Short sellers watched the share price seesaw through those two weeks and end down about 2%. The shares pulled back further afterward. The S&P 500 saw a fractional decline in the latter half of last month.
After rising more than 3% in the past week, Microsoft stock ended trading most recently at $137.71 a share. That was in a 52-week range of $93.96 (last December) to $141.68 (late July). The most recent share price is more than 35% higher than at the beginning of the year, compared to that gain of 12% or so for the Dow.
And the Rest
Rounding out the top five most shorted Dow stocks on the most recent settlement date were Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Both of these stocks saw increases in the number of their shares short during the latter two weeks of July. Share prices of the former pulled back in that time, while the latter saw a modest gain. Cisco still faces potential headwinds, but a strong quarterly report helped lift the iPhone maker late in those two weeks.
Also notice on the following list short interest changes in Dow stocks as of July 31 the surges at Boeing (second-quarter net loss), Chevron (earnings expectations) and Coca-Cola (an all-time high):
|Dow Stock||Short (millions)||Change||% Float|
|Procter & Gamble||20.80||9.76%||0.83%|
|Johnson & Johnson||15.81||7.42%||0.59%|