BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Love is in the air on Wall Street this Valentine's Day -- just maybe not the way you think.
No, I'm not talking about hedge fund managers' personal lives. I'm talking about their portfolios.
Pro investors' favorite stocks are telling right now, especially given the big sentiment swings we've been seeing in the broad market for the last couple of months. So it's interesting to know that institutional investors went on a buying spree last quarter, picking up big stakes in new names, and adding onto old favorites. In particular, their buying points to a lot of conviction in the technology and industrials sectors.
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But what's more interesting is the specific stocks they're buying. To figure that out, we've got to take a closer look at 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.
In total, approximately 3,400 firms file 13F forms each quarter, and by comparing one quarter's filing with 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 pro investors' $17.6 trillion under management.
Today, we'll focus on hedge funds' favorite stocks.