The short base (as measured by the percent of shares outstanding on loan) in Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) has risen over 12% in the past week, currently at 5.49%. AMZN reports Thursday, and the stock price is up over 11% on the month. They announced Wednesday that they reached a deal to buy online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos.com for about $927 million, adding to their retail empire.
Many believe that utilization (which measures the supply and demand in the securities lending market) can give a good indication of the popularity of a short position. AMZN's utilization is nearly 50% higher than the average stock in the S&P 500 and rising.
Other online retailers have experienced increases in utilization recently as well, with Ebay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) utilization up 15.9% on the week to 8.15% and Barnes and Nobles' (NYSE:BKS) utilization up 9.6% on the week to 64.52%.
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