Professionals Shorting These Stocks Big Time
$AMD, $QCOM, $CZR, $SBUX
History tells us that October can be a volatile frame for the stock market, and this year we are seeing it in spades.
Investors and traders worry about the Fed raising interest rates, weakness in global and emerging markets, the effects of the trade dispute with China, mixed corporate earnings and forward caution, the US midterm congressional elections and the Holiday season.
All this has the major US stock market indexes off its all-time highs marked in September and wringing out the excesses.
Judging by the most shorted stocks traded on the NAS Comp between 28 September and 15 October settlement dates, sellers were cautious overall too.
Here are the most shorted stocks on the NAS, as follows:
AMD: By the middle of October, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) had more than 121.63-M shares short. That was more than 12-M less that the total on the previous settlement date, as well as the lowest level of short interest in the past year. That reading still represented 13.1% of the company’s float. And though the average daily volume retreated, the number of days it would take to cover all short positions remained about 1.
Stifel likes AMD despite volatility and weakness in the chip stocks overall.
Short sellers watched the share price pull back about 14% in those 2 weeks, most of the decline in the 1st few days of the month. The stock closed trading most recently at 19.27/share, which is more than 40% higher than 2 months ago, but down from last month’s 52-wk high of 34.14. Shares have changed hands at as low as 9.04 apiece in the past year.
Qualcomm: Around 107.92-M Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares were sold short as of the most recent settlement date. That represented 7.4% of the chip-maker’s float and was a retreat of about 15% from in the prior frame, but still much more than the fewer than 30-M shares seen back in August. As of the mid-month, it would take more than 6 days for investors to cover all their short positions at the posted average daily volume.
Qualcomm still has that generous dividend yield that has 2x’d in the past 5 years. The 15 October closing share price was around 11% lower than on the previous settlement date. It has slipped around 2% in the past week, and the stock was last seen trading at 63.20/share, down from the 52-wk high of 76.50 rmared last month. The 52-wk low is 48.56/share.
Caesars Entertainment: After rising for 16 straight frames, the short interest in Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ:CZR) finally pauses. In fact, the number of shares short shrank by more than 3-M. The more than 106.40-M shares posted for the mid-month settlement date represented 19.2% of the total float, and it was the 4th frame running with more than 100-M shares short. The days-to-cover figure fell from over nine to about 7 as the average daily volume increased.
Caesars has been the subject of merger speculation recently.
Its share price ended the 1st 2 weeks of this month more than 14% lower. The stock ended Thursday’s session at 9.04/share, which is down about 22% over the past 90 days. Its 52-wk trading range is 8.45 – 14.50, and that low was set in August.
Starbucks: More than 87.30-M Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) shares were sold short as of the most recent settlement date. That represented 6.7% of the coffee giant’s float, and it was almost 248% more than in the prior frame, as well as a YTD high level of short interest. As of the middle of this month, it would take more than 7 days for investors to cover all their short positions, at the highest average daily volume since June.
Starbucks named a new CFO during the short interest frame.
The 15 October closing share price was only fractionally higher than on the previous settlement date, though it had been up about 4% earlier in the frame. The stock closed most recently at 58.96/share more than 14% higher than 90 days ago. Shares have traded hands at between 47.37 – 61.94 each in the past 52 weeks.
Have a terrific weekend