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Trending Stocks: Facebook, Activision Blizzard, Johnson & Johnson and More

Markets opened higher on Friday amid Commerce Department’s report showing better-than-expected retail sector data, with retail sales growth of 1.3% in April. Among the trending stocks today are Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Mobileye NV (NYSE:MBLY), and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). Let’s see why these stocks are in the spotlight today and analyze hedge funds sentiment around them.

Academic research has shown that certain insider purchases historically outperformed the market by an average of seven percentage points per year. This effect is more pronounced in small-cap stocks. Another exception is the small-cap stock picks of hedge funds. Our research has shown that imitating the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds outperformed the market by nearly a percentage point per month between 1999 and 2012 (read more details here).

NPD Report Shows Declining Sales in Gaming Sector

Shares of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) are in the spotlight today on the back of the latest video games sales report from NPD, which showed a decline of 23% in hardware sales in April as compared to last year. Software sales in the gaming industry also fell 21%. Overall, there was a 15% decrease in the gaming sales in the month as compared to the same month last year. Most of the decline in hardware sales was because of 19% fall in gaming console sales. Among the investors that we track, 53 had long positions worth approximately $3 billion in Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) at the end of last year. Clifford Fox‘s Columbus Circle Investors holds 3.8 million shares of the company as of March 31. On the other hand, 57 funds from our system held long positions in Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) heading into 2016. As of the end of March, David Harding’s Winton Capital Management has 728,962 shares of Electronic Arts, according to its latest 13F filing.

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BTIG Downgrades Johnson & Johnson

After the market closed on Thursday, analysts at BTIG, global financial services firm, downgraded Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)’s stock to “Neutral”, citing shaky confidence in the company’s outlook for merger and acquisition activity in the medical device sector. Also, earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $55 million in damages to an ovarian cancer survivor who allegedly got the disease after using the Johnson & Johnson‘s talcum powder products. Analysts are also skeptical about the future of Remicade, one of the company’s best-selling products, amid an increasing competition in the market. Shares of the pharmaceutical firm have gained approximately 11% year-to-date. Overall, 72 funds that we track reported stakes in Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) as of the end of 2015. Ken Fisher‘s Fisher Asset Management reported owning 10.8 million shares of Johnson & Johnson as of March 31.

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 We will discuss the latest events surrounding Mobileye NV and Facebook on the next page. 

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