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Apple, Array Biopharma, Alaska Air, and More: Here’s Why These Five Stocks Are in the Spotlight

It’s the beginning of a new week and the three major indexes look once again to open relatively flat. Although the U.K. plans to start the Brexit next week, investors are complacent as the overall U.S,. economy remains robust.

In this article, let’s analyze why Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Tableau Software Inc (NYSE:DATA), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:ARRY), and Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK) are each in the spotlight and examine how smart money funds were positioned in each equity at the end of the fourth quarter.

At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 39.7% gains over the past 12 months and outperformed the 24.1% gain enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs. Our enhanced small-cap hedge fund strategy returned more than 45% over the last 12 months and outperformed SPY by more than 30 percentage points over the last 4.5 years (see details here).

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) received a thumbs up from Cowen today, with analyst Timothy Arcuri bumping his price target on the iPhone maker to $155 from the previous $135. Arcuri believes the consensus estimates for Apple are too low in light of the company’s aging iPhone base, which could prompt a stronger refresh cycle for the iPhone 8. Arcuri has an ‘Outperform’ rating and believes the stock’s multiple could expand further. Of the 742 elite funds we track, 113 funds owned $16.54 billion of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and accounted for 2.70% of the float on December 31, versus 145 funds and $16.22 billion respectively on September 30.

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Traders are watching Tableau Software Inc (NYSE:DATA) after Greg McDowell of JMP Securities termed the stock’s recent weakness as a buying opportunity. The analyst has an ‘Outperform’ rating and a $65 price target, opining that the concerns about increasing competition have been overblown given Tableau’s lead. Although Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) does represent a tougher competitor, peers such as TIBCO and Qlik have taken a step back. Speaking of Microsoft, Wall Street believes the company is also making substantial progress in the pivotal cloud market as more previously skeptical channel partners jump on board Azure. Microsoft shares have done well, rallying 5% year-to-date. 27 and 126 top funds were long Tableau Software Inc (NYSE:DATA) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) according to our data.

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On the next page, we examine Array Biopharma Inc and Alaska Air Group Inc.

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