Top Fund Buys Focus On Defensive Stocks, Housing
April notched another month of gains for the stock market. That's four straight months so far this year.
But this market rally is getting long in the tooth and top fund managers have been cautious in their buying.
The nation's top-performing funds the past three months have been adding medical stocks to their portfolios, such as big biotech firmsCelgene ( CELG ),Biogen Idec ( BIIB ) andAmgen ( AMGN ) andRegeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN ), in their latest reporting periods. DrugmakerAbbVie ( ABBV ) drew heavy buying from top funds.
Media giants,Time Warner (TWX) andNews Corp. (NWSA), have been solid performers. Leading funds invested an estimated $14.3 million in News Corp., as of their latest reporting periods.
As the housing market starts to recover, building supply retailer Home Depot (HD) and self-storage facility REITExtra Space Storage (EXR), have garnered buying interest by leading funds.
IBD spotted two best-performing funds buyingPulte Group (PHM). The $3.1 billion DWS Core Equity Fund added the stock to its holdings.
The Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Pulte builds single-family homes, townhouses, condos and duplexes for first-time homebuyers as well as repeat buyers. Its financial services segment handles the mortgage banking and title operations.
Pulte is back on track as housing rebounds. But inventory of homes for sale is still tight, as well as buildable land. Low mortgage rates have also fueled buying.
The stock has been consolidating since running up to a 52-week high of 21.97.
Analysts see Q2 earnings rising 123%.
The Sell Side
The country's leading funds have been unloading a handful of drug giants, such asPfizer (PFE) andBristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), in their latest reporting periods.
These two stocks have had strong run-ups so far this year, notching fresh 52-week highs. But they've hit a wall in recent weeks.
Pfizer reported disappointing first-quarter earnings results, missing analysts' expectations on both earnings and revenue.
It cited lost sales to generic versions of its best-selling cholesterol-lowering drug, Lipitor. Overseas revenue was also hurt by a strong dollar.