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Comparing institutional buying trends to a stock’s performance can give some interesting results. When a stock is rallying but institutional investors are selling the stock, it can either mean that the smart money is wrong and they may soon go with the crowd and start buying, or it can mean that the smart money is predicting longer-term problems not yet reflected in the stock price.

We ran a screen on stocks from the tech sector that are rallying above their 20-day, 50-day, and 200-day moving averages. We screened these stocks for those seeing significant net institutional selling over the current quarter.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. (To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.)



Do you think institutional investors will soon start buying? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

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

1. Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBB): Provides enterprise software applications and related services to the education industry in the United States and Canada. Market cap of $1.56B. The stock is currently trading at 3.57% above its 20-Day SMA, 2.78% above its 50-Day SMA, and 7.60% above its 200-Day SMA. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 5.1M, which is 15.04% of the company's 33.92M share float. The stock has gained 21.2% over the last year.

2. Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. (NASDAQ:VSEA): Designs, manufactures, markets, and services semiconductor processing equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits to the semiconductor manufacturers worldwide. Market cap of $4.78B. The stock is currently trading at 1.06% above its 20-Day SMA, 1.80% above its 50-Day SMA, and 20.16% above its 200-Day SMA. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 10.8M, which is 14.10% of the company's 76.61M share float. The stock has gained 121.55% over the last year.

3. Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (NASDAQ:CMTL): Designs and produces a wide range of telecom systems and services. Market cap of $731.46M. The stock is currently trading at 2.60% above its 20-Day SMA, 2.77% above its 50-Day SMA, and 3.04% above its 200-Day SMA. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 1.8M, which is 7.08% of the company's 25.42M share float. The stock is a short-squeeze candidate, with a short float at 7.66% (equivalent to 5.38 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 11.2%.

4. National Semiconductor Corporation (NSM): Designs, develops, manufactures, and markets analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits and sub-systems. Market cap of $6.31B. The stock is currently trading at 0.23% above its 20-Day SMA, 0.60% above its 50-Day SMA, and 22.96% above its 200-Day SMA. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 16.2M, which is 6.60% of the company's 245.37M share float. The stock has gained 99.84% over the last year.

5. Spreadtrum Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:SPRD): Operates as a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops, and markets baseband processor and RF transceiver solutions for wireless communications and mobile television markets. Market cap of $1.02B. The stock is currently trading at 16.13% above its 20-Day SMA, 31.78% above its 50-Day SMA, and 16.67% above its 200-Day SMA. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 1.3M, which is 4.04% of the company's 32.19M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 6.67% over the last week.

6. Equinix, Inc. (NASDAQ:EQIX): Provides data center services for the protection and connection of information assets to enterprises, content providers, financial companies, network service providers, and cloud and IT services companies. Market cap of $4.48B. The stock is currently trading at 5.32% above its 20-Day SMA, 0.91% above its 50-Day SMA, and 3.54% above its 200-Day SMA. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 1.4M, which is 3.22% of the company's 43.50M share float. The stock is a short-squeeze candidate, with a short float at 10.17% (equivalent to 6.04 days of average volume). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.02% over the last week.

Institutional data sourced from Fidelity; all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 6 Rallying Tech Stocks The Smart Money Is Selling