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Are Insiders Buying the Popular Stocks?

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  • (0:30) - Insider Buying Signals
  • (6:15) - Buying Stocks On Large Dips: SBUX, PIR, GE
  • (12:45) - Stocks Pushing Through 52 Week Highs: WTW, MSFT, NVDA
  • (20:00) - Episode Roundup: Podcast@Zacks.com

Welcome to Episode #144 of the Zacks Market Edge Podcast.

Every week, host and Zacks stock strategist, Tracey Ryniec, will be joined by guests to discuss the hottest investing topics in stocks, bonds and ETFs and how it impacts your life.

In this episode, Tracey is going solo to discuss the insider buying at some of the most popular, and widely-held, stocks on the Street.

Why should investors care what the insiders are doing?

Insider buying is a much stronger signal than insider selling. The insiders know what’s going on at their companies. When business is good, they like to buy more shares.

And when the shares fall, they like to buy them on the cheap.

When do Insiders Buy?

There are two scenarios when insiders usually buy:

1. The shares are soaring and the insiders still believe. They know that things are so good, they just have to buy more shares. This is normally a rare situation as most investors, even insiders, have trouble buying when shares hit new highs.

2. More common is when the stock sells off on an earnings report or a negative news announcement. The insiders believe the selling was overdone and the stock is cheap. They buy more because they believe there’s upside in the shares.

Tracey took a look at some popular stocks that fall under both scenarios.

Are the insiders buying?

The Shares are Weak

1.       Starbucks (SBUX - Free Report) shares are down 5% over the last 2 years but the S&P 500 has gained 32.9% in that time. With that kind of underperformance, you’d think some insiders might be jumping in. Are they?

2.       General Electric (GE - Free Report) recently hit multi-year lows. Shares are down 59% over the last 2 years. If you were ever going to buy this stock, now would be the time. Are the insiders buying?

The Shares are Hitting New Highs

1.       Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) has gained 24.9% year-to-date while the S&P 500 is up about 7%. It’s been around long enough, that the insiders are no longer the original founders or employees so you’re more likely to find some insider buying. Is anyone jumping in on these new all-time highs?

2.       Nvidia (NVDA - Free Report) has also been around longer than some of the other glamour names like Square or Facebook. Over the last two years, shares are up 335% but momentum has recently slowed. Could this be a buying opportunity?

3.       Weight Watchers (WTW - Free Report) is famous for having a director buy shares at new highs several years ago. She knew what was going on behind the scenes and bought even after the shares had been hot. They’re still hot, up 643% over the last 2 years. Are insiders still buying or has the bloom come off this rose?

Interpreting the insider buys can be exciting but it’s not always simple and straightforward.

What does Tracey look for?

Tune into this week’s podcast to find out how to read the insider buys and more.

[In full disclosure, Tracey owns shares of SBUX and MSFT in her personal portfolio.]

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