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Shares shorted is a very helpful tool to gauge the sentiment surrounding a stock – if a stock sees a significant increase in shares shorted, it indicates that the market is more bearish on the company’s outlook.

We ran a screen on stocks from the tech sector for those that have seen significant net institutional buying over the current quarter. We screened these stocks for those with significant decreases in shares shorted month-over-month, indicating a bullish change in sentiment.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the 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 agree with short sellers on these companies? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

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

1. Renren Inc. American Depositary (NYSE:RENN): Operates a social networking Internet platform in China. Market cap of $666.26M. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 50.3M, which is 28.79% of the company's 174.71M share float. Shares shorted have decreased from 12.64M to 10.13M month-over-month, a change representing 1.44% of the company's 174.71M share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 30.52%.

2. Ancestry.com Inc. (NASDAQ:ACOM):
Operates as an online resource for family history for subscribers worldwide. Market cap of $1.07B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 8.8M, which is 27.92% of the company's 31.52M share float. Shares shorted have decreased from 6.03M to 5.61M month-over-month, a change representing 1.33% of the company's 31.52M share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 34.12%.

3. Isoftstone Holdings Limited (NYSE:ISS): Provides various information technology (NYSE:IT) services and solutions in the Greater China and internationally. Market cap of $354.61M. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.6M, which is 12.89% of the company's 27.92M share float. Shares shorted have decreased from 5.40M to 5.04M month-over-month, a change representing 1.29% of the company's 27.92M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 13.26% (equivalent to 17.12 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 34.31% over the last week.

4. GT Advanced Technologies, Inc. (GTAT): Provides polysilicon production technology and multicrystalline ingot growth systems, and related photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing services for the solar industry worldwide. Market cap of $888.52M. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 15.8M, which is 12.52% of the company's 126.19M share float. Shares shorted have decreased from 24.57M to 22.73M month-over-month, a change representing 1.46% of the company's 126.19M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 19.46% (equivalent to 5.85 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 10% over the last week.

5. Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:VECO):
Designs, manufactures, and markets equipment to make high brightness light emitting diodes (HB LEDs), solar panels, hard-disk drives, and other devices. Market cap of $1.0B. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 4.0M, which is 11.32% of the company's 35.33M share float. Shares shorted have decreased from 11.87M to 10.96M month-over-month, a change representing 2.58% of the company's 35.33M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.55). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 29.18% (equivalent to 6.29 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 14.95% over the last week.

*Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, short data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, 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: 5 Tech Smart Money Picks With Bullish Short Trends