Investing

The 5 Most Shorted Dow Stocks

Intel

> Shares short: more than 42.73 million
> Change from prior period: 28.5%
> Percentage of float: 1.0

Short interest rose to its highest level since mid-March, and that gain allowed the semiconductor leader to rise to the third spot on the list in the first two weeks of July. The number of shares short in the prior period was a 52-week low. The average daily trading volume surged in the period, and the days to cover figure shrank from about two to one.

Intel’s latest earnings disappointment was seen as a victory for some of its rivals. Because of the reaction to the quarterly report, Intel shares ended the two weeks trading about 19% lower, though they had been up over 4% earlier in the period. The Nasdaq saw a gain of around 3% between the latest settlement dates.

Intel stock was last seen trading at $48.19 a share, still up from the 52-week low of $43.63 from earlier this year but well off the $69.29 52-week high. The latest share price is down more 19% lower than at the beginning of the year, while the Nasdaq has gained more than 22% in that time.

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 Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). Both tech giants saw their share prices seesaw late last month. Yet, the former saw a notable bump in its short interest and JPMorgan downgraded it during the period, while short sellers yielded on the latter. Profit-taking undercut better than expected Microsoft earnings.

On the following list of short interest changes in the Dow stocks as of July 31, note that short sellers also moved on Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) in a big way, even though the former posted dismal quarterly results and the latter topped expectations. However, those sellers got out of the way on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) before the coming iPhone launches and on Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), perhaps thinking the aerospace giant had bottomed.

Dow Stock Short (millions) Change % Float
Pfizer 53.49 12.68% 0.96%
Exxon 48.55 −7.87% 1.15%
Intel 42.73 28.52% 1.01%
Cisco 37.78 8.47% 0.90%
Microsoft 36.47 −8.58% 0.49%
Visa 35.84 −2.34% 2.13%
Verizon 31.60 1.98% 0.76%
Coca-Cola 28.55 5.88% 0.67%
Disney 26.58 2.06% 1.48%
Apple 26.50 −24.78% 0.62%
JPMorgan 24.07 9.29% 0.80%
IBM 22.61 −2.72% 2.54%
Walgreens 18.92 7.98% 2.63%
Chevron 17.85 49.38% 0.96%
Dow 17.14 7.94% 2.32%
Procter & Gamble 15.16 −4.01% 0.61%
Merck 13.70 −6.43% 0.54%
Walmart 12.60 2.85% 0.91%
Johnson & Johnson 12.40 −090% 0.47%
Raytheon Technologies 11.59 −13.18% 1.34%
Nike 10.13 −5.17% 1.05%
Boeing 9.88 −10.51% 1.77%
American Express 9.25 −2.63% 1.15%
3M 6.68 2.76% 1.16%
Caterpillar 6.63 −3.74% 1.23%
Home Depot 6.48 −3.05% 0.60%
McDonald’s 6.04 3.31% 0.81%
UnitedHealth 5.70 12.94% 0.60%
Travelers 4.78 −6.10% 1.89%
Goldman Sachs 3.87 −5.07% 1.17%