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Apple, Wells Fargo, Williams Companies, And 2 Other Stocks Are Trending: Here’s Why

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Investors are watching WTI and Brent today after Thursday’s heartening EIA report that showed crude inventory in the U.S. falling by 14.5 million barrels, the most since 1999.

Given the spotlight on crude, it’s not surprising that several energy companies are trending. Without further ado, let’s take a look at five stocks on trader’s tongues today, which are Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), Vince Holding Corp (NYSE:VNCE), Williams Companies Inc (NYSE:WMB), and Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE:EPD). Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in those five stocks using the latest 13F filing data.

Through extensive research, we determined that imitating some of the picks of hedge funds and other institutional investors can help generate market-beating returns over the long run. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these investors, since they are usually less followed by the broader market and are less price-efficient. Our backtests that covered the period between 1999 and 2012, showed that following the 15 most popular small-caps among hedge funds can help a retail investor beat the market by an average of 95 basis points per month (see the details here).

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Apple Confident of Demand

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in the spotlight today after the tech company said that it won’t provide pre-order sales volume and first weekend sales data like it has before. Because the company believes the figures are “governed by supply, not demand” initially, Apple thinks the data is not relevant and isn’t representative of overall consumer demand for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Apple’s sudden reluctance to share that data is due to the company facing supply issues, which had been previously rumored, which could lead to first-weekend sales figures that would be deemed a disappointment. Thus, it appears that Apple would rather stay mum than let the market have a knee-jerk reaction, which would likely happen despite any supply chain caveat. Apple’s management has reiterated its financial guidance for the September quarter, however, of $45.5 billion-to-$47.5 billion in sales and between 37.5% and 38% in gross margin. David Einhorn‘s Greenlight Capital trimmed its position in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by 17% from March 31 to June 30, to 6.85 million shares.

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Wells Fargo Settles a Regulatory Case

Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) is trending after the bank settled a government regulatory case that alleged the company of countenancing “widespread illegal practices,” including allowing employees to open over 2 million credit and deposit accounts to hit sales targets. Wells Fargo does not admit to or deny the accusations, and will pay a total fine of $185 million to make them go away. Wells Fargo has fired around 5,300 employees for the inexcusable conduct. Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway owned almost 480 million shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) at the end of June.

On the next page we’ll examine the latest on Vince Holding Corp, Williams Companies, and Enterprise Products Partners.

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