Are Short Sellers Betting Against a Recovery in Semiconductors?

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Semiconductor trends are considered to be leading indicators of technology and broader electronics demand. In a wider sense, semiconductor and tech stocks are considered to be leading indicators for the markets in general. A strong rally in the tech sector pushed many of these companies to new highs, but with the return of volatility semiconductors will have to rally again if markets want to return to record levels.

The February 15 short interest data have been compared with the previous report. Short interest increased in most of these selected semiconductor stocks.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) saw its short interest decrease to 103.76 million shares. The previous level was 104.77 million. Note that, like AMD, Intel is one of the most shorted Nasdaq stocks. Shares were last seen trading at $49.76, in a 52-week range of $33.23 to $50.90.

The number of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) shares short increased to 165.38 million from the previous level of 164.59 million. Shares recently traded at $12.38, in a 52-week range of $9.70 to $15.65.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) saw the number of its shares short increase to 20.16 million, compared to the 18.25 million reported in the previous period. Shares were changing hands at $66.19, in a 52-week trading range of $48.92 to $69.28.

Short interest in Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) increased to 13.75 million shares. The previous reading was 11.88 million. Shares were trading at $58.29, in a 52-week range of $36.33 to $60.89.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) saw its short interest increase to 62.54 million shares from the previous reading of 58.59 million. Shares were trading at $48.69, in a 52-week range of $24.07 to $49.89.

And the short interest in Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) increased to 4.98 million shares in the period from the previous 3.94 million. Shares were last seen at $250.85, in a 52-week range of $208.44 to $285.68.