The latest EIA numbers are in, and as expected, the report contradicted yesterday’s bearish API build data. Domestic production fell by 29,000 barrels per day and inventories dropped by 0.9 million barrels from the previous week. Crude futures have rallied on the back of the news and all three indexes are in the green in anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s upcoming interest rate decision today. Among the stocks trending today are Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP), Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE), Perrigo Company plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:PRGO), and Cellectar Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:CLRB). In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the latest developments surrounding each company and analyze the smart money sentiment towards them, based on the data from the last round of 13F filings.
Hedge fund sentiment is an important metric for assessing the long-term profitability. At Insider Monkey, we track over 750 hedge funds, whose quarterly 13F filings we analyze and determine their collective sentiment towards several thousand stocks. However, our research has shown that the best strategy is to follow hedge funds into their small-cap picks. This approach can allow monthly returns of nearly 95 basis points above the market, as we determined through extensive backtests covering the period between 1999 and 2012 (see the details here).
Whole Foods Market Downgraded
Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) is around 4% in the red after analysts at Northcoast Research downgraded the stock to ‘Sell’ from ‘Neutral’ and set a price target of $24 per share. Separately, analysts at Oppenheimer defended the organic retailer by reiterating their ‘Outperform’ rating and setting a $38 price target. Whole Foods recently received a warning letter from the FDA related to violations observed at one of the company’s plants in Massachusetts. Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management owned 1.3 million shares of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) at the end of March, down by 15% from the quarter earlier.
Office Depot Brings on Some Temps
Although its merger with Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) may have been terminated, the anticipated strong demand on the back of the upcoming school season has prompted Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP) to plan to bring on around 8,000 seasonal and regular workers. The hiring for this back-to-school season is 2,000 more than last year and is hopefully a sign that Office Depot can turn its declining same store sales trend around. The number funds from our database with holdings in Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP) rose by 12 quarter-over-quarter to 58 at the end of March.
On the next page, we examine Nucor Corporation, Perrigo Company, and Cellectar Biosciences.