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Why Microsoft, Visa, Alibaba, and Two Other Companies Are in the Spotlight Today

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Although housing starts for September came in below expectations at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.05 million units versus estimates of 1.16 million units, the major indices are nevertheless close to flat as traders focus more on the earnings of various companies that just reported.

Among the other securities that are grabbing traders’ attention today are Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Visa Inc (NYSE:V), Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE:TUP), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), and Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS). Let’s find out why each stock is in the spotlight and see what the smart money investors from our database think about them.

At Insider Monkey, we track around 750 hedge funds and other institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on, can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see the details here).

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, laptop, corporation, Windows

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is in the spotlight today courtesy of New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, who said “I’m done with the tablets”. Belichick added, “I’ve given them as much time as I can give them. They’re just too undependable for me”. Given that Microsoft has a deal with the NFL to supply Surface tablets on the sidelines, Belichick in this instance is presumably referring to Microsoft’s Surface tablets, whose sales have previously been rather robust. Given that the Belichick is regarded as a top coach in football and the NFL is the most popular sport in the United States, Microsoft’s Surface division certainly has a PR problem on its hand, however fleetingly. Ken Fisher‘s Fisher Asset Management inched up its holding in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 1% to 18.37 million shares in the third quarter.

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Visa Inc (NYSE:V)‘s board of directors deftly practiced the ‘bad news sandwich’ by hiking its dividend by 17.9% to $0.165 per share per quarter, shortly after the company announced that its CEO, Charlie Scharf, will step down come December 1. Visa’s dividend hike now gives the stock of the payment network a forward yield of around 0.81%. Not surprisingly, shares of Visa are up over 1% on the back of the news. Of the 749 funds we track, 118 funds owned $9.33 billion worth of Visa Inc (NYSE:V)’s stock, which accounted for 5.80% of the float on June 30, up from 106 funds and $9.22 billion, respectively, on March 31.

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On the next page, we will find out why Tupperware Brands Corporation, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and Oasis Petroleum are trending.

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