Stockpickr) -- Hedge funds love consumer stocks. All told, hedge fund managers piled onto names in the consumer discretionary and staple stocks, hiking their positions in consumer stocks by almost twice as much as their next-favorite sectors.
Today, we're taking a look at five of the smart money's favorite consumer names - and whether they still make sense to buy.
Consumer names have lagged the broad market in 2012, delivering 5.11% versus close to 10% from the
S&P 500 year-to-date. But that doesn't exactly tell the whole story. The non-cyclical consumer names may come with lesser returns this year, but they're also delivering a whole lot less volatility and a set of hefty dividends. Of the individual consumer-focused names that we saw get piled into the most in the second quarter, nearly all were defensive.
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So what stocks are getting the most love from hedge funds?
We're entering full-blown 13F season this month, 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 haven't filed yet. Consider it a sampling of the trillions of dollars managed by hedge funds -- a sneak peak.
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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
five consumer stocks hedge funds love