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Schlumberger Limited. (SLB)’s Most Influential Executives Caught Selling Big, Plus Noteworthy Insider Trading at Four Other Companies

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History shows that U.S. equities often struggle to impress amid uncertainty over which candidates ultimately lead each party in presidential elections. The worries around the U.S. presidential election surely adds some volatility in equity markets, while a possible withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, often referred to as Brexit, inevitably adds even more volatility and uncertainty. Meanwhile, last week’s volume of insider buying slightly decreased relative to the previous week and so did the dollar volume of insider selling. Insiders, namely directors and executives, sold nine-times more worth of stock than they bought last week, while the ratio of insider selling over insider buying recorded for the previous week stood at approximately eight. Retail investors would be wise to pay attention to insider buying despite the higher-than-usual uncertainty that resides equity markets at the moment because corporate insiders tend to act as longer-term-oriented investors. Insider Monkey processed numerous Form 4 filings submitted with the SEC on Friday and pinpointed five companies with notable insider trading activity.

Academic research has shown that certain insider purchases historically outperformed the market by an average of seven percentage points per year. This effect is more pronounced in small-cap stocks. Another exception is the small-cap stock picks of hedge funds. Our research has shown that imitating the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds outperformed the market by nearly a percentage point per month between 1999 and 2012 (read more details here).

Penn Virginia SLB

This REIT’s President Has Been on Buying Spree in Recent Weeks

One of New York Mortgage Trust Inc. (NASDAQ:NYMT)’s top-tier executives continues to buy more shares despite having bought a massive block of 454,996 shares in May already. President Kevin M. Donlon purchased 58,004 shares on Thursday at prices varying from $6.28 to $6.34 per share, boosting his overall holding to 519,000 shares. The insider buying activity at this real estate investment trust would have been even more bullish if there were more insiders joining Mr. Donlon in purchasing shares.

New York Mortgage Trust Inc. (NASDAQ:NYMT), a REIT focused on acquiring, financing and managing mortgage-related assets and financial assets, has seen its market value gain 41% in the past three months. The stock is up 18% since the beginning of the year. The REIT currently makes a quarterly cash dividend payment of $0.24 per share, which offers shareholders an extremely attractive annual dividend yield of 15.2%. There were four hedge funds from our system with equity investments in the REIT at the end of the March quarter. Alex Lieblong’s Key Colony Management was the owner of 179,000 shares of New York Mortgage Trust Inc. (NASDAQ:NYMT) at the end of March.

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