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5 Financial Stocks Hedge Funds Love

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- What's the smart money buying this summer? Financial stocks, for one thing. So far, just shy of a hundred hedge funds have reported their second-quarter holdings to the SEC, and these fund managers have been piling on the financial sector, adding onto a small number of names.

"13F season" is officially starting to get red hot, and the early holdings being reported by hedge funds are telling -- especially because they're subject to less lag right now.

And since we're looking at fund holdings in the aggregate, they're less impacted by the fact that some funds might not have filed yet. Consider it a sampling of the trillions of dollars managed by hedge funds: a sneak peak.

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It's clear already, though, that hedgies are buying financial stocks. And not just any financial stocks. With anxiety still prevalent in the market this quarter, hedge funds focused on buying staid, large names in the financial sector, looking to snap up bargains in a group that's underperformed the S&P 500 in 2012 without turning to the risks of big banks.

To peek at hedge fund holdings, we're turning to a new set of 13F filings that are hitting the SEC's mailbox right now.

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Institutional investors with more than $100 million in assets are required to file a 13F - a form that breaks down their stock positions for public consumption. From hedge funds to mutual funds to insurance companies, any professional investors who manage more than that $100 million watermark are required to file a 13F. And by comparing one quarter's filing to another, we can see how any single fund manager is moving their portfolio around.

Without further ado, here's a look at 5 financial stocks hedge funds love.
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