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All Eyes On Wal-Mart, Valero, Kinder Morgan, 2 More This Morning

After opening in the green, all three indexes are modestly in the red in early morning trading as investors take some profits off the table from the last few trading sessions. Crude futures are also down this morning, taking some energy stocks down with it.

Among the stocks in the spotlight this morning are Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), American States Water Co (NYSE:AWR), Imprivata Inc (NYSE:IMPR), Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO), and Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI). Let’s take a closer look at each company and see what the world’s greatest investors think of them.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors allocate significant resources while making their bets and their long-term focus makes them the perfect investors to emulate. This is supported by our research, which determined that following the small-cap stocks that hedge funds are collectively bullish on can help a smaller investor to beat the S&P 500 by around 95 basis points per month (see the details here).

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Wal-Mart Shrugs Off Prime Day

Although arch-nemesis, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) may have held its much-touted Prime Day on July 12, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)‘s sales were reportedly strong as well  Given the rivalry between the two, Wal-Mart offered shoppers a considerable amount of deals such as ‘rollbacks’ promotions and price cuts on select electronics, apparel, toys, and more, and those deals likely helped strengthen sales. As the average delivery time shortens, Amazon will likely compete more and more with Wal-Mart and it will be important for Wal-Mart to be able to match Amazon in terms of efficiency and pricing. Of the 766 active funds that Insider Monkey tracks, 54 owned $6.83 billion in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) shares at the end of March, which accounted for 3.10% of the float.

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American States Wins a Contract

American States Water Co (NYSE:AWR) shares are 1.2% higher after the U.S government awarded the company’s contracted services subsidiary, American States Utility Services, Inc, a 50-year contract to maintain, operate, and provide construction management services for wastewater and water systems at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. American States Water estimates the value of the contract will be worth $510 million over the 50-year period. The contract is also subject to annual economic price adjustment. The number of funds in our system with holdings in American States Water Co (NYSE:AWR) rose by four quarter-over-quarter to nine as of the end of March.

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On the next page, we examine why Imprivata Inc, Valero Energy, and Kinder Morgan and turning heads this morning.

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