The country's best-performing funds of the past three months
have been stoking their portfolios with big-cap biotech stocks,
such asAlexion Pharmaceuticals (
), Biogen Idec (
) andRegeneron Pharmaceuticals (
As of Thursday, the IBD Medical Biomed/Biotech group was
ranked No. 1 among 197 sectors. The group has been hovering among
the top four spots for most of this year. The sector was up 16%
this year through July.
Amgen,Gilead Sciences (
), Alexion andOnyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) each has notched new
52-week highs in recent weeks.
Managers of leading funds also have been shopping retail
stocks, includingRoss Stores (ROST),TJX Cos. (TJX),Foot Locker
(FL),GNC Holdings (GNC) andFrancesca's Holdings (FRAN).
Fast-food chainsPapa John's International (PZZA) andAFC
Enterprises (AFCE), which runs Popeyes Chicken, have been stellar
Top funds have also been snatching up cable and satellite
operatorsComcast (CMCSA) andTime Warner (TWC).
IBD found five top-notch funds adding Ross Stores, investing
an estimated $1.90 million. The $249 million Hennessy Cornerstone
Growth Fund added shares as of its latest reporting period.
The lousy economy is a boon for discount retailers such as
Ross Stores. The Pleasanton, Calif.-based firm runs 1,037 Ross
Dress For Less stores and 88 dd's Discounts stores in the
Ross' same-store sales for July jumped 7% to $709 million, up
from $635 million a year earlier.
It raised second-quarter earnings guidance to a range between
80 and 81 cents, up from 77 to 78 cents as previously
The stock has more than doubled from 33.50 during last
summer's sell-off in August to a 52-week high of 70 in mid-July.
It's pulled back to 66, just 5% off its high.
The best-performing funds have been taking profits in utility
issues, includingFirstEnergy (FE),Atmos Energy (ATO) andPG&E
(PCG) in their latest reporting periods.
A handful of property REIT stocks, such asFederal Realty
Investment Trust (FRT),Essex Property (ESS),Omega Healthcare
(OHI) andVentas (VTR), have been evicted by leading funds.