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These 5 Stocks Are Surging on Friday: Here’s Why

Foreign ADRs Nokia Corp (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and Itau Unibanco Holding SA (ADR) (NYSE:ITUB), along with energy companies such as Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL) are surging on this fine Friday, as crude prices and the broader indexes are all well in the green. In addition, lifestyle brand Duluth Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:DLTH) and tech company Marketo Inc (NASDAQ:MKTO) aren’t doing too shabby either. Let’s take a closer look at the trading activity in these five stocks today, as well as to how they were traded during the fourth quarter by the world-class institutional investors that we track.

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).

Nokia Corp (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) shares have surged by 4.5% after the company announced that it is beginning headcount reductions in relation to the company’s purchase of Alcatel-Lucent that will ultimately yield 900 million euros ($1.03 billion) of cost synergies by 2018. Nokia’s stock is down by double-digits in percentage point terms year-to-date and the company could use a lighter cost structure to better compete against other telecommunication companies on the market. The number of elite funds in our database long Nokia Corp (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) rose by two quarter-over-quarter to 26 at the end of December. Jim Simons‘ Renaissance Technologies raised its stake by 10% during the fourth quarter to slightly over 17.00 million shares.

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Itau Unibanco Holding SA (ADR) (NYSE:ITUB) has rallied by 8% today after the Ibovespa surged by the greatest amount in the past fifteen trading days. Investors have become more optimistic on all things Brazil due to rallying commodity prices and speculation that President Dilma Rousseff is closer to becoming impeached. If the Brazilian political situation improves, the economy could improve as well will would do wonders for Itau Unibanco Holding SA (ADR) (NYSE:ITUB)’s books. 17 elite funds in our system held $147.55 million worth of Itau Unibanco Holding SA shares at the end of December. Among those 17 funds was Cliff Asness‘ AQR Capital Management with roughly 6.3 million shares.

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On the next page we examine why Duluth Holdings, Marketo, and Whiting Petroleum Corp are all making noise today.

Duluth Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:DLTH) shares are over 21% higher today on the back of a solid earnings report. For the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, Duluth Holdings reported EPS of $0.37 on revenue of $140.4 million, exceeding estimates by $0.09 per share and $7.19 million, respectively. Fiscal fourth quarter margins inched up 40 basis points to 56.1% while adjusted EBITDA rose by 35.3% year-over-year to $20.1 million. For the full 2015 fiscal year ended January 31, 2016, Duluth earned $0.66 per share on revenue of $304.2 million. Management expects the strong demand for the company’s products to continue through fiscal year 2016, with the company guiding for revenue of $370 million-to-$380 million versus analysts’ estimates of $356 million. 10 elite funds that we track held roughly 3.9% of Duluth Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:DLTH)’s float on December 31.

Cloud software maker Marketo Inc (NASDAQ:MKTO) is almost 10% in the green after JMP Securities quoted unnamed sources as saying that Marketo gave presentations to both SAP SE (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). JMP says that ‘strategic interest’ could be the reason for the presentations. Both Microsoft and SAP are trying to grow their businesses in the fast growing cloud market. JMP has a $30 price target and an ‘Outperform’ rating on Marketo Inc (NASDAQ:MKTO). Hedge fund sentiment in the stock remained relatively stable during the fourth quarter, with the number of top funds owning shares of the company falling by just one to 14.

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Wrapping up our list of gainers today is Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL), whose stock is 4.5% higher on the back of stronger WTI prices. According to current data, WTI crude oil futures for May delivery trade for around $39.36 per barrel, or 5.64% higher than yesterday’s close. Hedge fund sentiment in Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL) also remained relatively stable in the December quarter, with 40 hedge funds holding shares of the company at the end of December, versus 42 funds at the end of September. Israel Englander‘s Millennium Management had the largest of those 40 holdings, amounting to 8.86 million shares.

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Disclosure: None