Most Searched Tickers Among Financial Advisors: Focus on Tech Following Earnings

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With the earnings season in progress, the U.S stock market is still losing ground, despite several attempts to recover. The decline has come mainly on the back of concerns about weak oil prices and economic growth in China, since the results reported by companies have been better than expected overall. According to FactSet, as of the end of January, 40% of the companies in the S&P 500 had reported their financial results for the latest quarter, with 72% of those posting EPS above the consensus estimates, while 50% posted sales better than estimates. However, the drop in oil prices puts a negative light on the EPS growth for energy companies, which will affect the performance of the S&P 500 Index as a whole.

As we have for the past two months in a weekly series of articles, we are looking into some of the stocks that were the most-searched for by financial analysts the week before, based on data provided by Trackstar, the official newsletter of Investing Channel’s Intuition. In the week of January 24-to-January 30, financial advisors were more interested in the technology sector, with five tech stocks ranking among the top 20 most-searched tickers. Moreover, four of these stocks ranked in the top five of the list. In this article we are going to take a look at the five most-searched tickers among financial advisors last week and will assess the developments that put these stocks in the spotlight. In addition, we will see what the smart money investors think about these stocks, which may provide some details regarding the long-term prospects of these companies. At Insider Monkey, we track around 730 hedge funds and other institutional investors as part of our small-cap strategy. Through extensive research, we determined that imitating the top small-cap picks among these funds can help a retail investor outperform the market by an average of 95 basis points per month over the long term (see details here).

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) remained on the first spot of the list, similar to previous weeks. Last week, the company posted its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, which showed both revenue and EPS above the consensus estimate. However, investors were disappointed to see 74.8 million iPhones sold during the quarter, which was below the expectations of 75.46 million units. That figure represented nearly flat iPhone sales growth and the smallest growth since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007. Apple’s stock is currently down by around 8% year-to-date, and after the jump registered by Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s stock on the back of the results, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ceased to be the largest company in terms of market capitalization.

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Now all eyes will be on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s next event, where it will reveal new products. Despite the sluggish iPhone sales, most analysts reiterated bullish ratings on the stock, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., which earlier this week reiterated an ‘Overweight’ rating and $141 price target. Moreover, Apple is the second-most popular stock among the investors we track, with 133 funds holding shares according to the previous round of 13F filings.

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