The markets are relatively quiet as the latest data shows that durable goods orders in the United States were relatively flat month-over-month in August. While the data will not do much to inspire confidence, it did best the expected 1.4% decline.
Among the stocks making some waves today are two giant technology companies, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and three other companies ,Actuant Corporation (NYSE:ATU), Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW), and Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA). In this article, we’ll analyze how the smart money feels about each of the five stocks and find out why traders are watching them.
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in the spotlight after Digitimes reported that the tech giant has increased parts orders for iPhone 7 devices and that order visibility for the fourth quarter is 20%-to-30% higher than expected. Increased supplier orders is a good indication that Apple is seeing strong demand for the new iPhones which it expects will continue. Shares of Apple have done well in 2016, rising by 9.2% year-to-date, as investors buy the stock for its cheap forward P/E and for the potential buybacks made possible by bringing some of its foreign cash horde back home next year. David Einhorn‘s Greenlight Capital trimmed its stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by 17% during the second quarter to just over 6.85 million shares as of the end of June.
Actuant Corporation (NYSE:ATU) earned $0.30 per share on revenue of $275.8 million for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2016, meeting EPS estimates, but missing the top-line consensus estimate by $1.8 million. Core sales were 11% lower year-over-year as demand waned compared to its fiscal 2015. In terms of guidance, the company estimates fiscal 2017 EPS will come in between $1.00 and $1.20 when excluding restructuring charges, while sales will hit somewhere between $1.075 billion and $1.125 billion. Both marks fell below analysts’ own expectations of $1.23 and $1.16 billion respectively, even on the high-end of the company’s guidance ranges. Nonetheless, Actuant shares are up by 1% this morning. Of the 749 funds that we track which filed 13Fs for the June quarter, nine of them owned $212.69 million worth of Actuant Corporation (NYSE:ATU) shares on June 30, which accounted for 16.00% of the float.
On the next page we’ll examine why Corning Incorporated, Microsoft Corporation, and Ariad Pharmaceuticals are making headlines today.