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Apple (AAPL), Caterpillar (CAT), and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) Among the Day’s Trending Stocks

The markets are off to a slow start today amid a report from the Labor Department which shows that over the last week, jobless claims surged to their highest levels in a year. Some important stocks are in the spotlight today including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN), and Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON).  Let’s take a look at why these stocks are trending today and shed some light on what top investors think of these companies.

Academic research has shown that certain insider purchases historically outperformed the market by an average of seven percentage points per year. This effect is more pronounced in small-cap stocks. Another exception is the small-cap stock picks of hedge funds. Our research has shown that imitating the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds outperformed the market by nearly a percentage point per month between 1999 and 2012 (read more details here).

Apple Suppliers Get Less Orders for iPhone 7 Chips After Low Sales Expectations  

Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are 1.76% in the red today after a report from Nikkei stated that Apple’s suppliers in Taiwan are expected to get lower orders amid declining demand for the company’s iPhone. Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:TSM), which is Apple’s supplier of A10 chips for the upcoming iPhone 7, expressed that demand for high-end smartphones was “tepid”. Apple recently reported a decline in its quarterly revenue for the first time in 13 years. While investors are counting on Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 to reverse the company’s flagging momentum, several sources quoted by Nikkei were not overly optimistic, saying that the saturation in the smartphone market and potential lack of innovative features in the iPhone 7 could lead to disappointing results.

A total of 133 funds in our database held positions in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at the end of 2015. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management reported holding 11.31 million shares of Apple as of March 31.

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Caterpillar Ready to Enter Cuban Market

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) CEO Doug Oberhelman announced that the company is ready to enter the Cuban market as soon as the U.S trade embargo with Cuba is lifted. While talking to the media after a meeting with Cuban ministers in Havana, Mr. Doug said that he talked about “a number of projects” during the meeting, including Mariel Harbor, a major harbor project in the West of Havana. The Cuban government is placing heavy importance on Mariel Harbor, seeing it as a potential distribution center to the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Shares of Caterpillar are 0.73% in the red today.

At the end of last year, 31 hedge funds in our system were shareholders of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), with positions worth approximately $997.5 million. Natixis Global Asset Management’s Harris Associates owns more than 15 million shares of the company as of March 31.

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We will examine the latest news surrounding Las Vegas Sands, AstraZeneca, and Monsanto Company on the next page.

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