Investing

The 5 Most Shorted Dow Stocks

Microsoft

> Shares short: more than 40.83 million
> Change from prior period: −7.7%
> Percentage of float: 0.6

Microsoft remained at the number three spot on the list in the latter half of May despite the fourth sizable retreat in a row. It is again approaching the 52-week low of around 37 million shares that occurred back in February. It would take these investors more than a day to cover their short bets, as of the end of last month.

Microsoft and its shares were among those that were not only surviving but thriving in the pandemic recession. The shares ended the two weeks trading about 2% higher, though they had been up more than 3% earlier in the period. The Nasdaq saw a gain of about 6% during the short interest period, marginally lagging the performance of the Dow and the S&P 500.

Microsoft stock was last seen trading at $189.80 a share, after reclaiming the multiyear high of $190.70 on Tuesday. The 52-week low of $119.01 was reached last summer. The latest share price is more than 19% higher than the year-to-date low during the pandemic sell-off, while the Nasdaq is up almost 26% in that time.

And the Rest

Rounding out the top five most shorted Dow stocks on the most recent settlement date were Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) and Cisco Systems Inc. (NYSE: CSCO). The former tech giant saw the number of its shares short rise marginally late last month, while short sellers yielded just a bit on the latter. Intel stock ended the period more than 6% higher, in the wake of its new 10th generation desktop processor release. Cisco’s share price was up about 9% by the end of the month. The company announced the acquisition of cloud company ThousandEyes at month’s end.

Note on the following list of short interest changes in Dow stocks as of May 29 the surges in Disney, Home Depot, Raytheon and UnitedHealth. Each bucked the overall trend of shrinking short interest in the period.

Dow Stock Short (millions) Change % Float
Exxon 60.61 1.51% 1.44%
Pfizer 52.04 −1.05% 0.94%
Microsoft 40.83 −7.70% 0.55%
Intel 38.64 2.23% 0.91%
Cisco 34.40 −0.55% 0.82%
Apple 34.19 1.79% 0.79%
Visa 32.59 1.24% 1.93%
Verizon 28.77 −6.31% 0.70%
Disney 28.35 12.34% 1.58%
Coca-Cola 26.51 −9.30% 0.62
IBM 20.81 −3.27% 2.35%
JPMorgan 20.60 −16.95% 0.68%
Raytheon Technologies 18.20 15.17% 2.10%
Chevron 17.72 −16.92% 0.95%
Dow 17.68 −1.70% 2.39%
Merck 15.81 −16.76% 0.63%
Procter & Gamble 15.50 −17.15% 0.63%
Walgreens 15.47 −25.82% 2.12%
Boeing 14.99 −14.67% 2.69%
Walmart 13.50 −11.89% 0.97%
Johnson & Johnson 13.01 −20.04% 0.49%
Nike 11.90 4.16% 0.99%
Home Depot 11.37 10.87% 1.06%
American Express 11.17 −1.46% 1.40%
Caterpillar 8.25 −10.65% 1.53%
UnitedHealth 7.77 31.94% 0.82%
McDonald’s 7.55 3.83% 1.02%
3M 7.22 −12.87% 1.26%
Goldman Sachs 6.57 1.08% 1.99%
Travelers 3.97 −18.38% 1.58%


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