After sharp moves in each of the past three trading sessions, the markets are relatively quiet today, as all three index futures are up only modestly and crude futures are in the red by 0.6%.
Among the stocks that are capturing more attention than usual today are Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F). Let’s find out why each company is in the spotlight and see how the smart money is positioned in each stock.
Our research determined that following the small-cap stocks that hedge funds are collectively bullish on can help a smaller investor to beat the S&P 500 by around 95 basis points per month (see the details here).
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) are in the spotlight after the two social media giants joined the First Draft Coalition, a collective of more than 30 other news organizations committed to solving the problem of fake news (mostly on social media). Some other news organizations in the collective include prestigious outlets such as the Washington Post, CNN, and the New York Times. By joining the organization, Facebook and Twitter are showing that they are more than just tech companies, and that they are committed to preventing their social media platforms from being abused for monetary or illegal purposes. In the past, hackers have created look-alike Twitter accounts or even hacked into authentic accounts to release illegitimate news concerning fake buyouts or serious events to profit from the subsequent stock movement.
Andreas Halvorsen‘s Viking Global owned over 20 million shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) at the end of June, while 30 funds that we track were long Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) as of the most recent 13F reporting period.
Although it certainly has the resources to do so, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) won’t buy Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) anytime soon, mostly due to the resulting tax bill associated with the purchase. At the Delivering Alpha conference, Alibaba executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai said: “If there was an easy tax solution someone would have figured it out already.” Due to the sale of its internet properties, Yahoo’s value is mostly tied to its stake in Alibaba and therefore to Alibaba shares. The number of funds in our system with holdings in Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) fell by 16 during the second quarter to 81 at the end of June.
On the next page, we’ll examine why Monsanto and Ford are generating buzz today.