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Investing Specialists

Our Ultimate Stock-Pickers' Top 10 Buys and Sells

Technology names dominated our list of top-10 purchases, with Microsoft not only being a top-10 holding for our managers, but one of the highest-conviction purchases during the most recent period.

Mentioned: , , , , , , , , ,

By Brett Horn | Associate Director

Despite steady gains in the U.S. equity markets last year, with the S&P 500 Index increasing 16% on a total return basis, things were a bit more tepid during the fourth quarter. The index actually lost a little ground as the markets dealt with the uncertainties of both the presidential election and the pending fiscal cliff. With close to USD 15 billion flowing out of actively managed U.S. stock funds during December 2012, last year's fourth quarter (with USD 44 billion in net redemptions) went down as the third worst quarter for outflows for the category since the middle of 2008 (with the fourth quarter of 2008 and fourth quarter of 2011 seeing outflows of USD 48 billion and USD 45 billion, respectively). Investors were actively selling off positions during the quarter, influenced by a desire to lock in capital gains before tax rates potentially increased at the end of the year. While some of this money made its way back into the category this year, with January 2013 recording the first positive flows for actively managed U.S. stock funds since February 2011, total inflows for the month were only USD 5 billion. While this type of investor behavior has created obstacles for our Ultimate Stock Pickers in the past, we did see a fair amount of buying and selling activity by our top managers during the most recent period, with those releasing monthly data reporting somewhat higher levels of trading activity on either side of the new year.

The Morningstar Ultimate Stock-Pickers Team does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.