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Apple (AAPL), United Continental (UAL), Qualcomm (QCOM) Among the Stocks Grabbing Headlines Today

After surging to $44 from $40 per barrel, crude futures are slightly in the red this morning. Not surprisingly, all three index futures are modestly lower too. Volatility isn’t very large, however, as the S&P 500 Futures Index is down by just one-tenth of a percentage point. Among the stocks in the spotlight today are QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS). Let’s find out why each stock is trending and see what the smart money tracked by Insider Monkey thinks of them.

Our research 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).

QUALCOMM Offers Soft Guidance 

QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) is in the red this morning after the company issued weaker-than-expected guidance alongside its latest earnings results. Although the company beat estimates with EPS of $1.04 on revenue of $5.54 billion for the second quarter of fiscal year 2016, the company’s guidance for fiscal third quarter EPS of $0.90-to-$1.00 was below the consensus of $1.02 per share. Shares of the mobile chip giant are down by 1.41% despite the company also having settled an arbitration dispute with LG. Perhaps supporting the stock in the future will be the company’s buybacks, however. Qualcomm spent $1.55 billion to repurchase 31.7 million shares in the quarter and has billions of dollars of cash on its balance sheet. Ken Fisher‘s Fisher Asset Management was among 68 top funds that we track that owned QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) at the end of 2015.

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Weak Results Cause Las Vegas Sands to Roll Red

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) shares have retreated by more than 8% this morning after the casino and entertainment company reported lower-than-expected earnings. For the first quarter, Las Vegas Sands earned $0.45 per share on revenue of $2.72 billion, tallies which missed estimates by $0.17 per share and $160 million respectively. Sales fell by 9.6% year-over-year and expenses were higher-than-expected. CEO Sheldon G. Adelson discussed some of the details of the company’s operations and performance in a press release:

“The operating environment in Macao remained challenging during the quarter; but we do see signs of stabilization, particularly in the mass market. Our focus on the higher margin mass and non-gaming segments and the geographic diversification of our cash flows enabled us to once again deliver in excess of one billion U.S. dollars of hold-normalized adjusted property EBITDA during the quarter. We remain intensely focused on the consistent execution of our proven global growth strategy, which leverages the power of our unique convention-based Integrated Resort business model.”

Some investors are optimistic on China (which supplies the bulk of tourism dollars to Macao) and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS)’s future and think the country could avoid a hard-landing. Others, such as George Soros, are not as optimistic. According to our database of 786 elite funds, hedge funds on the whole do not own much of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS). Only 24 top funds held 0.8% of the company’s float at the end of December.

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On the next page, we examine why United Continental Holdings Inc, Apple Inc, and Citrix Systems Inc. are trending this morning.

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