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Hedge Funds' Best Picks Show the Way for 2012

Consumer Discretionary

Consumer discretionary as a whole haven't gone anywhere this year, up a paltry 2.8%. With fears that global economies could face another recession, it makes sense that individual investors aren't rushing into consumer discretionary stocks that could be hammered if spending is reined in further. For the most part, though, hedge fund managers are placing their bets in the sector, with media names getting lots of love.

The Liberty Media family of stocks -- Liberty Interactive (LINTA), Liberty Media (LSTZA), and Liberty Capital (LCAPA) -- was particularly in focus. While hedge funds like JAT Capital, Jana Partners and Blue Ridge Capital were buyers, Soros Capital and Farallon Capital were dumping shares.

Meanwhile, as hedge funds like Eton Park, Maverick Capital and Lone Pine Capital were buying shares of News Corp. (NWS), others like Viking Global were dumping shares. The same was true for Viacom (VIA.B), with Eton Park and Maverick buying as Farallon and Viking selling.

There were some other interesting moves in consumer discretionary stocks. Among hedge funds increasing their reported portfolio's exposure to the sector, names like Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Virgin Media (VMED), Priceline.com (PCLN), McGraw-Hill (MHP), Comcast (CMCSA), Deckers Outdoor (DECK) and Family Dollar (FDO) were among the stocks that saw buying.
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