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What are the top US stocks held by the pros? eVestment, a data specialist which keeps track of institutional investment into American stocks has released its latest set of findings, looking at where the pro investors are putting their money. It also provides some interesting insight into what they are selling out of.

The data is based on more than 6000 long only equity strategies that reported for Q3 2019. It shows what percentage of the reporting portfolios held the stock in question.

The top three stocks favoured by investors are predictable, with Microsoft top of the pack (24.4%), closely followed by Alphabet shares (21.29%)and Apple stock (17.22%). Other favourites include JP Morgan and Visa, which jostled for 4th and 5th spot over the last 12 months.

These five look like the ‘must have’ US stocks for a large number of professional portfolio managers.

Pro investors have been selling out of Pfizer stock

Some companies have dropped out of the top 20 altogether in the last six months and if you hold these shares, you may want to revisit them. Special attention should be paid to Pfizer Inc, which was owned by 11.57% of portfolio managers a year ago but no longer features in the top 20. Also out is Wells Fargo stock.

Other US stocks have been growing in status with institutional investors and if you don’t hold these, it may be worth giving them a second look. One that has gained momentum in the last year and continues to travel up the list is Procter & Gamble (11.57%). Shares in Procter & Gamble were trading at 86.74 a year ago. It has appreciated steadily ever since with little in the way of volatility, and can be bought for 124.53 today. This performance is obviously attracting the big money.

Procter & Gamble was held by 11.57% of money managers who reported to eVestment at the end of the last quarter.

Can Home Depot shares retain favour?

Home Depot looks like another stock big investors were interested in recently (11.58%). Unlike P&G, Home Depot shares have been taking a pounding in recent weeks and have seen a drop from 238 to 214, but you could have had them at less than 160 a year ago.

Be aware that the eVestment report does not take into account data since the end of September, and Home Depot stock has really run into problems since 18 November, so we would expect to see some fund managers cutting it in Q4.

Other US stocks that are treading water include Bank of America (11.26%); it is still held by roughly the same number of fund managers, but it is falling down the ranking because they are more bullish on other stocks. Rising aggressively up the ranking is Walt Disney Corp (11.27%). It has dropped off in the last quarter but is still up year on year.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse has spent 25 years in journalism and marketing, including as a wealth management editor for the Financial Times group, covering capital markets and international private banking, and as an investment banking correspondent for Euromoney in Hong Kong. He was the founder editor of The Hedge Fund Journal.

Stuart has worked at CMC Markets, supporting the re-launch of its global financial spread betting and CFD trading platforms. He is also the author of two books on trading, published by Financial Times Pearson. Based in The Armchair Trader’s London office, Stuart continues to advise fund managers, private banks, family offices and other financial institutions.

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