In an interview on CNBC, billionaire Leon Cooperman, a Wall Street legend and a founder of Omega Advisors, shared his perspective on the recent not so favorable market trends, one of them being a huge intraday drop of Dow Jones Industrial Average of almost 800 points. According to Cooperman, the problem lies in the management of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which hasn't dealt with the effects of the computerized trading that has made volatility during market swings even worse. He further stated that we had the best capital market in the world ever since the mid-1930s until 2008 when "they created a Wild, Wild West environment in the stock market."
Leon Cooperman holds the opinion that bear markets don't just happen for no reason at all, on the contrary, they are provoked by the smell of an anticipated recession. Interestingly, Cooperman thinks that currently "there are just no signs of a recession", hence he will be continuing with his investment plans, purchasing more of his favorite stocks. Cooperman also talked favorably about Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in the interview and Alphabet shares reversed its losses and turned positive for the day following Cooperman's comments. By the way Alphabet was the fourth most popular stock among hedge funds at the end of September (see the list of 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds). Let's take a look Omega Advisors' four new stock picks in the third quarter.
The largest new position in the third quarter Leon Cooperman established was in Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE:NLSN), buying 3.63 million shares that held a value of $100.49 million. This is a global information, data and measurement company, based in NYC. Over the past six months, the company's stock price lost 12.5% and it currently trades at $26.92. Smart money investors from Insider Monkey's database have become more bullish on the company in the recent period, with the number of those long the stock climbing to 35 in the third quarter, from 21 in the previous quarter.
Leon Cooperman's second stock pick during the third quarter was Magnolia Oil & Gas Corp (NYSE:MGY), whose 2 million shares the fund purchased, in that manner establishing a position in the company that was worth around $30.02 million. On September 30, the company had 37 hedge funds with long positions, up by 14 from the previous quarter. YTD, the company's stock is up by 17.47%, at the moment of writing trading at $11.43
Next in line of billionaires' third quarter largest portfolio additions is CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), in which the fund invested around $22.39 million, purchasing 107,500 shares outstanding. This global health insurance service company has seen an increase in interest from smart money investors in our database, with 60 hedge funds long the stock on September 30, up from 49 in the previous quarter. Over the past 12 months, the company's stock price gained 3.77% and it is currently trading at $211.92.
WMIH Corp. (NASDAQ:WMIH), was the fourth largest addition to the fund's portfolio during the third quarter, with the fund acquiring 9.15 million shares with a value of $12,.72 million. Investors in our database also share optimism for this stock, as the number of those who built long positions in it climbed to 31 during Q3, from 18 in Q2 2018. At the moment of writing, the company trades at $1.31.
Disclosure: None. This article was originally published by Insider Monkey.