10 Widely Held Companies Investors Bet Will Drop

For the first half of November investors increased their bearish position in a number of widely held US companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Investors who bet against the bears would profit if these shares rise. A “short-squeeze” would exaggerate the push for a higher share price as bearish investors close their short-position. Left out of the list below are the short-selling increases in ETFs. ETF short-selling may be rising as investors hedge their bullish position against the indexes. ( List Average 1-Year Return: 21%)

1)     Ford Motor Co. (F) saw its share short volume increase to 24.4 million. The short position is now 169.29 million shares. Ford recently sold a record number of vehicles in China in November. The company sold 67,505 vehicles, fueled by strong demand for its Ford Focus.

2)     Short-selling for Bank of America (BAC) shares rose by 17.7M shares, up 10% from October 31 to 203.82M. Shares recently reached a 52-week high.

3)     CSX Corp. (CSX) saw short-selling increase significantly by 42%, or 6.4M shares. The short volume is now at 21.8M shares.

4)     Bearishness was steady for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The short-position is now 152.4M, up 4% from October 31 2012. AMD recently cut its silicon wafer order by 75%, and will now spend $115 million, down from $500 million.

5)     American International Group (AIG) shares saw bearishness rise 26% to 23.3M shares. AIG is divesting its assets, which is good for realizing value for investors.

6)     Sony Corp (SNE) short-selling increased by 38% to 15.1M shares in total. Sony is struggling to return to its former glory.

7)     JPMorgan Chase (JPM) short-selling increased 9%, or rose 4.0M shares. JPMorgan, is approaching a 52-week high.

8)     Royal Dutch ADR (RDS) saw bearishness rise 90%, to 6.3M.

9)     Bearishness in was steady for Sprint Nextel (S). It increased 6%, to 50.5M total. Sprint is up 170% from its 52-week low.

10)   UBS AG (UBS) short-sellers increased their position by 64%, to 6.7M shares. Like the above banks, UBS is at a 52-week high.

Written by Chris Lau Disclosure: Author has a long position in Ford (F).  Source: Bloomberg.com and Finviz.com