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Here’s Why Microsoft, Apple, Adobe Systems, Alphabet, and More Are Trending

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In early pre-market trading, the major index futures are green today as traders look forward to today’s current account balance release along with the API inventory numbers. Crude futures are up 0.86% and the S&P 500 future has inched up 0.16%. In this article, let’s analyze the news causing Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to each trend. Let’s also examine how smart money funds were positioned in each stock at the end of the fourth quarter.

At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 39.7% gains over the past 12 months and outperformed the 24.1% gain enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs. Our enhanced small-cap hedge fund strategy returned more than 45% over the last 12 months and outperformed SPY by more than 30 percentage points over the last 4.5 years (see details here).

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Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have formed an alliance to better compete against Oracle, Salesforce, and others in the sales and marketing sector. Specifically, Adobe will work with the giant from Redmond to form a shared data format between Microsoft sales software, Microsoft Dynamics, and its own marketing software, Adobe Experience Cloud. Microsoft VP Scott Guthrie said, ““It’s going to enable to customers to go beyond the current (software) silos they have to navigate today”. Bulls hope the alliance will help unlock more revenue growth for both companies. Of the 742 elite funds we track, 126 and 54 were long Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) at the end of Q4.

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A few quarters after acquiring Jet.com and investing in major Indian and Chinese e-commerce companies, Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) is doing even more to beef up its e-commerce operations. In its quest to compete against Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Wal-Mart recently announced that it will launch an innovation hub named Store No 8 in Silicon Valley to invest in start-ups, VCs, and others. Store No 8 will focus on important future growth areas such as augmented reality, robots and AI, among other things. 54 elite funds were long Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) as of the most recent 13-F reporting period, down 17 funds from the previous quarter.

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On the next page, we find out why the spotlight is shining on  Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc.

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