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Hedge Funds Are Selling Wintrust Financial Corp (WTFC)

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The third-quarter stock market correction has turned out to resemble the situation observed during the Asian financial crisis of 1997. The two relatively short-lived corrections occurred at a time with stable interest rates, falling commodity markets, with strong-performing technology and healthcare sectors, and struggling energy sector. Similarly, the two corrections followed long periods without a correction, which had to come sooner or later and it did. Even so, several prominent hedge fund investors publicly asserted their bearish view on the current state of the U.S. equity markets, suggesting that they significantly cut their exposure to equities during the latest quarter. Having said that, it would be worthwhile to take a look at the hedge fund sentiment on Wintrust Financial Corp (NASDAQ:WTFC) in order to identify whether reputable and successful top money managers continue to believe in its potential.

Is Wintrust Financial Corp (NASDAQ:WTFC) a buy right now? Investors who are in the know are turning less bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund bets went down by 2 lately. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity, but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article, we will examine companies such as Infinera Corp. (NASDAQ:INFN), Clean Harbors Inc (NYSE:CLH), and World Fuel Services Corporation (NYSE:INT) to gather more data points.

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In today’s marketplace, there are many signals market participants put to use to analyze publicly traded companies. A duo of the most innovative signals are hedge fund and insider trading interest. Our researchers have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can outperform the market by a solid margin (see the details here).

Keeping this in mind, let’s analyze the recent action regarding Wintrust Financial Corp (NASDAQ:WTFC).

How are hedge funds trading Wintrust Financial Corp (NASDAQ:WTFC)?

At the end of Q3, a total of 11 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a drop of 15% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).

According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management has the largest position in Wintrust Financial Corp (NASDAQ:WTFC), worth close to $70.3 million, amounting to 0.1% of its total 13F portfolio. On Fisher Asset Management’s heels is Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group, with a $31 million position; the fund has less than 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other peers that hold long positions contain Anand Parekh’s Alyeska Investment Group, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management.

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