The world's 10 largest hedge funds by equity assets were bullish on industrial stocks in the first quarter and narrowed their stakes in consumer discretionary companies, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.
Collectively, the 10 firms purchased a net $3.44 billion in shares in industrial companies, the most of any sector for the second straight quarter. Consumer staples companies were the second-favorite target, garnering $2.51 billion in net purchases. On the other hand, the hedge funds were net sellers in consumer discretionary and healthcare, selling off positions in those sectors worth $3.14 billion and $2.27 billion, respectively.
As of May 21, the group reported 570 equity positions worth $176.62 billion.
In dollar terms, the group was most bullish on media company 21st Century Fox Inc. during the first quarter, even though one hedge fund, TCI Fund Management Ltd., was responsible for all the buying. TCI increased its position by more than 74 million shares in the first quarter in both class A and B, pushing the total value of its investment to $3.12 billion.
Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. were the most popular stocks during the quarter, as six firms either initiated or increased stakes in both companies. Information technology companies accounted for 29% of the group's total holdings, the most of any sector.
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Click here to view the hedge fund tracker for the fourth quarter of 2017.
Click here to view the above data in a PDF.