5 Stocks That Are Exhibiting Heightened Volatility Today

With the FOMC meeting tomorrow and the Brexit vote scheduled for next Thursday, June is likely to be a more volatile month than usual. The VIX fear index is above 20 and all three indexes are in the red this afternoon. Among the stocks showing more volatility than usual are Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE:PBR), Sonus Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:SONS), Stone Energy Corporation (NYSE:SGY), Mesoblast limited (ADR) (NASDAQ:MESO), and Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc (NYSE:ZBH). Let’s take a closer look at each stock and see how the smart money is positioned in them.

Hedge fund sentiment is an important metric for assessing the long-term profitability. At Insider Monkey, we track over 765 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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Petrobras Drops Due to Crude

Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE:PBR) is 3.7% lower today after Brent prices retreated below the $50 mark to trade near $49.64 per barrel. Crude prices are off by 1% today due to profit taking and fears that a Brexit might lower crude demand in Europe. In other news, Bloomberg reports that Petrobras’ Japanese unit in Okinawa has drawn robust interest from several companies, including TonenGeneral and JX Holdings Inc. Given the small nature of the unit, the sale of the unit won’t matter much to Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE:PBR) in the grand scheme of things however. Ken Fisher‘s Fisher Asset Management was a big shareholder of Petrobras at the end of March.

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Top Sonus Networks Executive Leaves

Sonus Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:SONS) shares have retreated by 4.4% after CFO Mark Greenquist left to take a similar role at a leading e-commerce company. Mr. Greenquist will be replaced by Susan Villare, who previously served as the VP of financial planning and analysis. Although executive churn is not good, Sonus Networks has tried to reassure investors by re-affirming its 2016 EPS and revenue guidance. 20 top funds in our system were long Sonus Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:SONS) as of the most recent 13F reporting period.

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On the next page we check out the situation today regarding Stone Energy Corporation, Mesoblast limited, and Zimmer Biomet Holdings.