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Trending Stocks: Second Sight, Energy Transfer Partners, Twitter, and More

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The broader markets are down slightly after the latest consumer confidence numbers for the month of October missed expectations with a reading of 98.6 versus analyst expectations of 100.8.

Among some of the stocks that are making headlines today are Second Sight Medical Products Inc (NASDAQ:EYES), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP). Let’s examine why these stocks are in the spotlight today and assess the hedge fund sentiment towards them.

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).

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Twitter profile, iPhone, Social network, Tweet, Media

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Second Sight Medical Products Inc (NASDAQ:EYES) shareholders are seeing nothing but green today as the stock of the company has risen by 20% on the back of the news that doctors at UCLA have successfully implanted and activated a wireless visual cortical stimulator in a 30-year-old human subject. After the implantation, the patient was able to perceive and localize individual spots of light with no adverse side effects. According to Chairman Dr. Robert Greenberg:

“[…] the first human test confirms that we are on the right track with our Orion I program to treat blind patients who cannot benefit from the Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis (Argus II). This initial success in a patient is an exciting and important milestone even though it does not yet include a camera.”

The implantation is considered a successful human proof of concept, and the company plans to submit an application to the FDA early next year to gain approval for conducting an intital clinical trial of the complete Orion 1 system, with glasses and a camera. Of the 749 funds we track, three funds owned $224,000 worth of Second Sight Medical Products Inc (NASDAQ:EYES)’s shares, which accounted for 0.20% of the float on June 30, versus four funds and $2.44 million, respectively, on March 31.

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Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares are down by 4.4% after Bloomberg reported that the company may lay off around 300 workers, or 8% of its workforce, to become more competitive. Although layoffs are normally cheered by the Street, Twitter is down because some traders think the layoffs mean that the social network might not beat Wall Street’s consensus estimates for the third and fourth quarters. A total of 30 funds tracked by us had a bullish position in Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) at the end of the second quarter, up by three funds from the previous quarter.

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On the next page, we take a closer look at Yelp, Alphabet, and Energy Transfer Partners LP.

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