Microsoft has partnered with Nvidia to make improvements to popular video game Minecraft. Short sellers watched the share price gain around 4%, pull back as much and start to recover in those two weeks, ending up more than 3%. The shares climbed a bit afterward though. The S&P 500 ended the latter half of last month with a gain of almost 2%.
After slipping about 2% in the past week, Microsoft stock ended trading most recently at $136.12 a share. That was in a 52-week range of $93.96 (seen last December) to $141.68 (in late July). The most recent share price is around 32% higher than at the beginning of the year, compared to that gain of 16% or so for the Dow.
And the Rest
Rounding out the top six most shorted Dow stocks on the most recent settlement date were Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM). The former saw a sharp drop in the number of its shares short during the final two weeks of August, while the latter had only marginally shrinking short interest. Share prices of both rose but gave up their gains in that time. The iPhone maker is still a Warren Buffett pick despite the insane market, and analysts remained cautious on the Big Oil leader late last month.
Also notice on the following list of short interest changes in Dow stocks as of August 30 the lack of double-digit gains. That suggests that short sellers were cautious overall in the dog days of summer:
|Dow Stock||Short (millions)||Change||% Float|
|Procter & Gamble||20.07||−1.28%||0.80%|
|Johnson & Johnson||14.28||−7.84%||0.54%|