Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE:HOG) the iconic motorcycle maker reports quarter two earnings on Thursday and many will be looking for signs of a return to consumer discretionary spending. In the last month the short base (as measured by the percent of shares outstanding on loan) in HOG has increased 1.57% to 14.12%. HOG has been a popular short position since the early months of the recession.
Other “big-ticket” consumer discretionary stocks like the boat builder Brunswick Corp (NYSE:BC), the firearm manufacturer Smith & Wesson Holding (SWHC) and the golf club manufacturer Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY) have higher than average short base. BC is at 7.63%, SWHC is at 10.61% and ELY is at 11.70%.
HOG has a high utilization (which measures the supply and demand in the securities lending market) ranked 11th in the S&P500 at 56.44%. This is off from its 52 week high of 70.09% which was in March.