BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Hedge funds are buying stocks with both hands right now. Should you?
It's been a tough year of market conditions for hedge funds. Last year was too. So, with the S&P 500 up around 15% year-to-date, fund managers have a lot of catching up to do if they want to salvage their performance for 2012. It's already October, which means that funds are scouring the market for stocks that they think are set to outperform -- and they're agreeing on which names are their favorites right now.
So what are they buying?Big defensive names have been topping hedge funds' buy lists for the last quarter, with an emphasis companies that pay out dividends. That echoes what we're seeing in the market today: by and large, the broad market continues to look cheap, and it's a historically good time to be a dividend investor. But that said, just buying "the market" through an index fund or ETF is a heavy-handed approach. Instead, it's worth taking a closer look at the five names that hedge funds are favoring right now. To find them, we'll take a look at funds' 13F filings with the SEC. >>Buffett's "Secret" Reveals 5 Stocks to Buy 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. Today, we'll break down buying in 858 hedge funds to figure out which stocks managers love as of the most recent quarter. Without further ado, here's a look at 5 stocks hedge funds love.