BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- The "most-hated market rally" in history is turning into the "most-tolerated rally" in history. And that's increasing professional investors' willingness to pick up stocks again.
Fund managers are being selective, but they're buying again in 2013 -- even if it's not with both hands just yet.
Part of the reason that professional investors are piling back into stocks is performance-driven. With so many funds out of equities in late 2012, there's been a scramble to catch back up to benchmarks that continue ticking higher. The old adage goes that everyone looks like a genius in a bull market -- but that's only true in markets in which everyone's allocated to stocks. At the start of 2013, equity allocations were pathetic, so now portfolio managers are in buy mode again for their favorite stock names.Today, we'll take a look at five of those favorite stocks. To do that, we're focusing on 13F filings. 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. >>5 Hated Earnings Stocks That Deserve Your Love In total, approximately 3,400 firms file 13F forms each quarter, and by comparing one quarter's filing to another, we can see how any single fund manager is moving their portfolio around. While the data is generally delayed by about a quarter, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Research shows that applying a lag to institutional holdings can generate positive alpha in some cases. That's all the more reason to crack open the moves being made with institutions' $16.3 trillion under management. Today, we'll focus on five institutional favorites from the last quarter. >>5 Stocks Poised to Break Out