Stocks quoted in this article:
With the major market indexes plummeting to fresh 52-week lows, it's no surprise to find a remarkable scarcity of equities at new annual highs today. The NYSE has racked up an eye-popping 1,146 new lows, compared to just four 52-week highs. The Nasdaq stats are similarly dismal, with the exchange reporting 690 securities at new annual lows, along with only three annual highs. Among the bearish majority today are Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE - 9.51) and ON Semiconductor Corp. (ONNN - 6.75).
First up, CLNE fell to an intraday nadir of $9.02, marking a rather significant breach of the round-number $10 level. The stock hasn't closed a week in single-digit territory since July 31, 2009. On a year-to-date basis, CLNE is sitting on a loss of 27.7%, underperforming the broader equities market.
Apparently, short sellers are betting on CLNE to backpedal even further on the charts. Short interest rose by 10.1% over the past month, and these pessimistic positions now represent a lofty 24.5% of the equity's float. At CLNE's average daily trading volume, it would take nearly seven sessions for all of these shorted shares to be covered.
Meanwhile, ONNN tagged a session low of $6.53 before bouncing back into positive territory. The $6.50 area has served as tenuous support for ONNN since mid-August, and seems to be continuing in that role, with the semiconductor stock up 1.7% this afternoon.
Despite today's minor bounce, ONNN is clearly still a technical laggard -- the shares have lost roughly one-third of their value so far in 2011. As a result, the stock could be vulnerable to bearish brokerage notes going forward. Currently, Zacks tallies 14 "buy" or better ratings for underperforming ONNN, compared to just four "holds" and zero "sells."