BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Professional investors are buying stocks with both hands again, taking advantage of a broad market rally that's been kicking into new highs in March.
But while fund managers are buying stocks, they're not exactly being creative about it. The five biggest names on their buy lists right now are a handful of blue-chip giants. No, the pros aren't using their $19.3 trillion in institutional cash to pick up any speculative small targets these days.
Despite the fairly unimaginative buying spree, there's something to be said for the big name stocks in this environment -- really. While momentum has been working exceptionally well for the last year and change, it's left blue-chip valuations languishing in 2014, making large-cap stocks some of the best bargains on a market that many investors think is too expensive.
So today, we're taking a closer look at the big names that fund managers picked up in the last quarter.
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 3,700 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' $19.3 trillion under management.
Today, we'll focus on hedge funds' 5 favorite stocks.