Why Are These Stocks Surging Amid Today’s Gloomy Market?

The market frenzy that succeeded the interest rate hike has not lasted long, as the U.S. stocks are deep in the red at noon today. The Dow is down by triple digits as fresh economic data and slumping oil prices weigh on the stock markets. There are, however, several stocks that managed to hold on to gains and even trend higher. Let’s have a look at the reasons behind the advance of Actinium Pharmaceuticals Inc (NYSEMKT:ATNM), Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV), Voltari Corp (NASDAQ:VLTC) and SunCoke Energy Partners LP (NYSE:SXCP).

But why do we track hedge fund activity? From one point of view we can argue that hedge funds are consistently underperforming when it comes to net returns over the last three years, when compared to the S&P 500. But that doesn’t mean that we should completely neglect their activity. There are various reasons behind the low hedge fund returns. Our research indicated that hedge funds’ long positions actually beat the market. In our back-tests covering the 1999-2012 period hedge funds’ top small-cap stocks edged the S&P 500 index by double digits annually. The 15 most popular small-cap stock picks among hedge funds also bested passive index funds by around 60 percentage points over the 36 month period beginning from September 2012 (read the details here).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared Actinium Pharmaceuticals Inc (NYSEMKT:ATNM)‘s Iomab-B drug for Phase III trials, according to a press release from the company. Actinium developed Iomab-B to complement the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, especially in the case of elderly patients who are not eligible for hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The drug is supposed to help patients prepare for such an operation. Shares of Actinium have opened higher this morning and are currently up by 16% from yesterday’s closing price.

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The fund we track have an insignificant presence among shareholders of Actinium Pharmaceuticals Inc (NYSEMKT:ATNM) as only 1% of the common stock was held by five funds at the end of the third quarter. Israel Englander slightly increased his investment in the stock, with Millennium Management reporting ownership of  165,025 shares valued at $292,000 in its latest 13F filing.

Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV) is surging today after a better-than-expected earnings report. The company released its fiscal fourth quarter financial results before market open today, posting a loss of $50 million or $0.36 per share when adjusted for one-time gains and costs. Revenues came in at $2.49 billion, down by 17% year over year. Analysts, in turn, were looking for $2.47 billion in revenues and earnings of $0.58 per share. The management has been busy slashing costs, having reported an 18% drop for the quarter, and is confident in its ability to further reduce them. In the conference call, CFO Walter Borst said the company plans cost cuts of approximately $200 million for 2016.

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More than 51% of Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV) was held by 25 hedge funds that we track at the end of September, up from 16 at the end of June. Billionaire Carl Icahn is Navistar’s largest shareholder, which means he also holds the largest position among the funds we follow. In its latest quarterly report, Icahn Capital reported holding 16.3 million shares worth $206 million.

Voltari Corp (NASDAQ:VLTC) has announced a deal to purchase a real estate parcel from Flanders Holding, LLC for $2.8 million. The property in question is leased to 7-Eleven, the international chain of convenience stores, until the end of 2029. Voltari estimates rental income of $161,000 per month for the remainder of the contract. The stock opened higher this morning and is trading 15% in the green.

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According to our database, only 2 elite funds were invested in Voltari Corp (NASDAQ:VLTC), down from 4 a quarter earlier, but together they held 49% of the stock. The two funds are Icahn Capital, run by Carl Icahn, and Thomas E. Claugus‘ GMT Capital, having reported ownership of 4.74 million shares and 82,051 shares respectively.

Shares of SunCoke Energy Partners LP (NYSE:SXCP) are up by more than 27%, after the company presented its outlook for 2016. The management said it expects full year EBITDA to range between $207 million and $217 million, up from the 2015 guidance of $185 million to $190 million. The main reason for the upgrade is the income expected from its Convent Marine Terminal, which the company acquired in July of 2015 for $412 million. The management has pledged to maintain a healthy balance sheet and is looking to suspend the quarterly dividend to maintain liquidity.

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Hedge fund managers sought to distance themselves from SunCoke Energy Partners LP (NYSE:SXCP) during the third quarter, as the number of positions dropped to five from 11 at the end of June. Michael Reeber and Israel Englander are both bullish on this stock, having upped their stakes during the quarter. In their latest 13F filing, Reeber’s Andalusian Capital Partners and Millennium Management have reported ownership of 368,658 shares and 194,700 shares, respectively.

Disclosure: none.