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Why Are Investors Excited About These 5 Stocks Today?

The markets are going nowhere today, after the IMF cut its global growth forecast for the fourth time over the past twelve months, due to China’s slowdown. For 2016, the IMF now expects the global economy to grow by 3.2%, down from its previous estimate of 3.4%. Despite the dour news, shares of AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV), Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc (NYSE:HLX), Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD), Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc (NASDAQ:EGLE), and Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:REXX) are each higher this morning for various reasons. Let’s take a closer look at what those reasons are and examine what the group of top hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey thinks of each stock.

Our backtests that covered the period between 1999 and 2012, showed that following the 15 most popular small-caps among hedge funds can help a retail investor beat the market by an average of 95 basis points per month (see the details here).

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) is over 1% in the green this morning after the FDA tagged the company’s Venclexta with the Breakthrough Therapy and Priority Review designation. The drug candidate, a potential treatment for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who have 17p deletion and have tried at least one line of therapy, has shown promising efficacy in studies, in which 80% of patients with the refectory chromosomal abnormality have seen their cancer remiss either partially or completely. The number of elite funds in our system with holdings in AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) fell by eight during the fourth quarter to 70 as of the end of December.

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Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc (NYSE:HLX) is 6% higher after analysts at Credit Suisse raised their rating on the stock to ‘Outperform’ from ‘Neutral’ and doubled their price target on it to $10 per share from $5. Rising Brent prices could lead to a recovery in the offshore drilling sector, which Helix Energy stands to benefit from. Shares of the company are naturally correlated with crude prices and will likely rally further if crude jumps. Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management was among ten funds in our system that held shares of Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc (NYSE:HLX) at the end of December.

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On the next page, we examine why Amicus Therapeutics, Eagle Bulk Shipping, and Rex Energy Corporation are trending upwards today.

Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD) opened more than 6% higher this morning after analysts at Chardan Capital wrote that the company was a potential takeover candidate. The analysts think that Amicus’ migalastat, a potential treatment for Fabry disease, will likely get regulatory approval in the European Union after the CHMP recommended the EMA to approve the drug as a first-line treatment for patients with Fabry disease with an amenable genetic mutation. The analysts at Chardan Capital also boosted their price target on the stock to $15 per share from $10 per share. Hedge fund sentiment towards Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD) was relatively stable in the fourth quarter, with the number of funds long the stock falling by three quarter-over-quarter to 23. Those 23 funds owned nearly 40% of the biotech firm’s float at the end of 2015.

Nano-cap Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc (NASDAQ:EGLE) opened nearly 10% higher due to strong technical momentum buying before retracing. Shares of the company have more than tripled from their April lows on no particular company-specific news. Eagle Bulk Shipping announced that it reached an agreement with its lenders over a comprehensive balance sheet recapitalization on March 30 that sent its shares down by more than 40% the following day. Within our database, 6 funds owned almost two-thirds of Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc (NASDAQ:EGLE) as of the latest 13F reporting period. As with all nano-cap companies, investors should do their due diligence before investing.

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Last but not least, Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:REXX) leads today’s gainers with a 31% jump in morning trading. Traders are buying because the company announced a deal with INEOS Europe AG to sell and transport natural gas liquids to European markets. The transportation of the liquids should begin this month. CEO David Thompson had this to say about the deal:

“This contract adds to our supply portfolio providing for long-term sourcing of advantageously priced US natural gas liquids for our European crackers. We are excited about our new business relationship with Rex Energy and look forward to future opportunities between our companies.”

Two funds in our system owned $314,000 of Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:REXX) shares at the end of December.

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Disclosure: None