Archer-Daniels Midland

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I wouldn't exactly call Archer-Daniels Midland ( ADM) a consumer stock -- after all, its direct customers aren't consumers, and you won't find the ADM logo on any consumers' shelves. Still, this firm's exposure to consumer whims is huge, and as a result, it's classified as a consumer stock along with the rest of them.

ADM is one of the world's biggest agricultural commodity producers. The firm takes raw soft commodities such as oilseed and wheat as inputs and spits out processed products like vegetable oil to flour on the other side. ADM is as tied in to global agricultural consumption as a company can get: The firm has more than 300 locations spread across the world, resulting in a network that can get cheaper access to commodities and provide finished products with fewer transportation costs factored in.

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That scale also means that ADM's trading desks are able to capture arbitrage opportunities that less tied-in rivals (or financial firms) can't.

While huge commodity exposure and paper-thin margins make ADM the least-attractive name on the list in my view, hedge funds have been snapping up shares. So far, they've picked up 5.56 million shares of ADM, ramping up their holdings by almost a third.

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