Apple, Alphabet, and SolarCity Among 5 Stocks in the Spotlight Today

It’s a good day to be a bull on Wall Street, as all three indexes are in the green. The S&P and Dow are at or near record highs, while the NASDAQ is up by 0.6%. Among the stocks trending this afternoon are Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY), and Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN). In this article we’ll check out why each stock is in the spotlight and see what the world’s greatest investors think of the five companies.

While there are many metrics that investors can assess in the investment process, the hedge fund sentiment is something that is often overlooked. However, 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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Apple Proposes Simpler Music Royalties

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is 1.2% higher today after the company proposed a simpler songwriting royalty plan for on-demand music streaming. According to Apple’s plan, streaming services would pay a flat rate of $0.091 cents for every 100 times a certain song is played, as opposed to the current system of royalty payments which is very complicated and contingent upon various conditions. If enacted, the royalty plan would hurt Spotify, as it would increase the fees that Spotify pays for its music. Given Apple’s size and other revenue streams, Apple would likely benefit from the plan by gaining market share. Ken Fisher‘s Fisher Asset Management reported owning a stake of more than 11.3 million shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the end of June.

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Alphabet Cancels VR Project

According to Recode, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)‘s Google unit has nixed an internal project to create a VR headset a la Oculus. Rather than producing expensive standalone hardware, Google is instead focusing on mobile virtual reality software on smartphones, where it has an advantage given its Android operating system. Increased attention to financial discipline may also have played a part in the decision to terminate the project. Andreas Halvorsen‘s Viking Global reported ownership of more than 2.05 million class A shares of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) as of March 31.

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On the next page we’ll find out why Monsanto, SolarCity, and Lennar Corporation are trending today.