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Why Traders Are Watching Amazon, Alphabet, and Three Casino Stocks Today

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It’s a relatively quiet morning on Wall Street although three indexes are trading slightly in the green. In addition, the markets in Asia were mainly in the green last night, with the Nikkei 225 leading the charge, rallying 0.83%.

Among the stocks in the spotlight today are five companies, including Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM), and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN). Let’s take a closer look at the catalysts causing each equity to trend and use data from the last round of 13F filings to see how investors from our database were positioned towards them at the end of the second quarter.

Hedge fund sentiment is an important metric for assessing the long-term profitability. At Insider Monkey, we track over 740 hedge funds, whose quarterly 13F filings we analyze and determine their collective sentiment towards several thousand stocks. However, our research has shown that the best strategy is to follow hedge funds into their small-cap picks. This approach can allow monthly returns of nearly 95 basis points above the market, as we determined through extensive backtests covering the period between 1999 and 2012 (see the details here).

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Star analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray weighed in on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today, saying that Google search trends show Amazon.com’s e-commerce unit growth is tracking up between 25% and 27% versus the Street estimate of between 23% and 26% for the September quarter. Due to that analysis, Munster maintained his $900 price target and ‘Overweight’ rating. Munster believes Amazon.com will continue to gain market share in e-commerce in the near term. In addition, Amazon is also trending after the e-commerce company updated its customer reviews policy to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program. Incentivized reviews were done by people who posted opinions in exchange for a discounted or free product as long as they disclosed that fact. The Amazon Vine program is where Amazon, not the seller or vendor, invites helpful and trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about pre-released and new products. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management cut its stake in Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) by 21% to just under 2 million shares in the second quarter.

Follow Amazon Com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN)
Trade (NASDAQ:AMZN) Now!

Traders are watching Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) as the company is expected to introduce several new hardware products in San Francisco today. Among them will be two flagship phones, Pixel and Pixel XL, as well as the company’s new Daydream virtual reality headset, which according to Variety, could cost as little as $79 (The headset is meant to be used along with the two new flagship phones). If the price of the headset is $79, Alphabet could potential gain valuable market share in a major growth opportunity for the future. In other less positive news, the EU is apparently trying to change Alphabet’s business practices in the continent, as regulators in the area plan to levy substantial antitrust fines according to The Wall Street Journal. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global trimmed its holding in Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s class A stock  by 13% over the quarter to 1.79 million shares held at the end of June.

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On the next page, we examine Las Vegas Sands Corp, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts Limited.

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