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Many investors view extreme pessimism as a contrarian buy signal. Here we present 15 stocks that have seen significant net selling from institutional investors over the current quarter, expressed as a percent of share float.

These stocks have also just seen a technical crossover of the 50-day moving average going below the 200-day MA, indicating downside technical momentum (a bearish indicator nicknamed the "Death Cross").



Do you think this extreme pessimism is justified? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by net institutional selling as a percent of share float.

1. ReneSola Ltd. (SOL): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $713.91M. SMA50 at $9.37 vs. SMA200 at $9.97 (current price at $8.29). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 9.4M, which is 16.04% of a 58.61M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.08% over the last week.



2. Meritor, Inc. Common Stock (MTOR): Auto Parts Industry. Market cap of $1.59B. SMA50 at $17.44 vs. SMA200 at $17.46 (current price at $17.34). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 9.2M, which is 9.91% of a 92.88M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.42). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 15.78%.



3. Baldwin & Lyons Inc. (BWINB): Property & Casualty Insurance Industry. Market cap of $322.55M. SMA50 at $23.16 vs. SMA200 at $23.32 (current price at $21.99). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 693.6K, which is 8.33% of a 8.33M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.48% over the last week.



4. Village Super Market Inc. (VLGEA)
: Grocery Stores Industry. Market cap of $359.79M. SMA50 at $28.33 vs. SMA200 at $28.90 (current price at $26.75). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 416.0K, which is 8.3% of a 5.01M share float.

5. FBR Capital Markets Corporation (FBCM): Asset Management Industry. Market cap of $226.95M. SMA50 at $3.63 vs. SMA200 at $3.63 (current price at $3.62). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.0M, which is 7.57% of a 52.82M share float. The stock has lost 13.33% over the last year.

6. Sanmina-SCI Corp. (SANM): Printed Circuit Boards Industry. Market cap of $941.16M. SMA50 at $12.17 vs. SMA200 at $12.31 (current price at $11.76). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.9M, which is 6.77% of a 72.36M share float. The stock has lost 27.21% over the last year.

7. Arkansas Best Corporation (ABFS): Trucking Industry. Market cap of $601.96M. SMA50 at $24.43 vs. SMA200 at $24.44 (current price at $24.13). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 1.6M, which is 6.71% of a 23.85M share float. The stock has lost 15.57% over the last year.

8. Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. (MRH): Property & Casualty Insurance Industry. Market cap of $1.14B. SMA50 at $18.04 vs. SMA200 at $18.16 (current price at $18.13). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 3.7M, which is 6.15% of a 60.18M share float.

9. Callaway Golf Co. (ELY): Sporting Goods Industry. Market cap of $445.07M. SMA50 at $7.06 vs. SMA200 at $7.28 (current price at $7.06). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 3.8M, which is 5.97% of a 63.68M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 17.72% (equivalent to 13.91 days of average volume). The stock has lost 22.79% over the last year.

10. BioSpecifics Technologies Corp. (BSTC): Biotechnology Industry. Market cap of $142.85M. SMA50 at $24.91 vs. SMA200 at $24.99 (current price at $22.61). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 215.6K, which is 5.75% of a 3.75M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 8.09% (equivalent to 37.41 days of average volume).

11. Kendle International Inc. (KNDL):
Drug Manufacturer. Market cap of $224.85M. SMA50 at $10.09 vs. SMA200 at $10.14 (current price at $15.02). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 627.2K, which is 4.68% of a 13.39M share float.

12. P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc. (PFCB): Restaurants Industry. Market cap of $916.93M. SMA50 at $44.86 vs. SMA200 at $45.90 (current price at $39.21). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 1.0M, which is 4.48% of a 22.32M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 23.33% (equivalent to 9.93 days of average volume).

13. Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (SVA): Biotechnology Industry. Market cap of $162.69M. SMA50 at $4.26 vs. SMA200 at $4.32 (current price at $4.01). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 1.9M, which is 4.44% of a 42.80M share float. The stock has lost 17.04% over the last year.

14. Rovi Corporation (ROVI): Multimedia & Graphics Software Industry. Market cap of $5.39B. SMA50 at $52.64 vs. SMA200 at $52.75 (current price at $48.97). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.6M, which is 4.3% of a 107.10M share float. The stock has gained 34.74% over the last year.

15. Apollo Group Inc. (APOL): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $5.69B. SMA50 at $41.71 vs. SMA200 at $41.80 (current price at $40.11). Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.8M, which is 4.18% of a 114.91M share float.

*Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Extreme Pessimism: 15 Downtrend Stocks Being Dumped by Institutional Investors