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June 13, 2020, 9:09 a.m. EDT

Here are the biggest stock-market bets among institutional and retail investors, ranked

Only one stock makes both lists: Microsoft

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By Andrea Riquier

There’s a pretty big gulf between how professional investors manage money and the bets made by average people. Like many things, it may have been amplified by the upside-down nature of markets and the economy in the wake of the coronavirus shock — or not.

The chart above shows the top five most widely-held stocks by each class of investor; a fuller table, showing the top ten, is below.

There are some fairly clear themes.

Retail investors are either betting that air travel is going to come back, in a big way, or they're simply picking the stocks that have lost the most value, by some metric, during the global lockdown. Institutional investors, in contrast, are betting on electronic back-office products, particularly payments.

What can we learn from these preferences? It’s hard to say but, as DataTrek co-founder Jessica Rabe pointed out in a research note out Tuesday, it’s pretty clear this cadre of individual investors, taken from account activity at online brokerage Robinhood, which is favored by millennials, isn’t prioritizing clean energy investments.

“The lack of environmental, social and governance (ESG) friendly names at the top of the Robinhood leaderboard contrasts with the notion that millennials will only back companies that align with those characteristics,” Rabe wrote. “For example, the number of accounts that invested in Ford has doubled since mid-March, while those for American Airlines, Delta and United grew by 8.7x, 9.7x and 14.2x respectively.”

See also: This unlikely stock is the biggest winner since the February market top

And what to make of the preferences among institutional players?

Payments companies won’t be as much in demand in a slowing economy, when consumer spending falls, so it might be seen as a macro bet on an improving landscape. On the other hand, many investors believe the coronavirus episode hastened a technological shift across the global economy. The companies that dominate the electronic payments industry may simply benefit from picking up a bigger share of those transactions.

Institutional investors Retail investors
Visa Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F    Ford Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F  
Adobe Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200389143/composite ADBE   General Electric /zigman2/quotes/208495069/composite GE  
Mastercard Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207581792/composite MA   American Airlines Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209207041/composite AAL  
Alphabet Inc. Class A /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL   Delta Airlines Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200327741/composite DAL  
PayPal Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208054269/composite PYPL   Walt Disney Co. /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS  
salesforce.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200515854/composite CRM   Carnival Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202325446/composite CCL  
Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT   GoPro Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209165587/composite GPRO  
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201948298/composite BABA   Aurora Cannabis Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB  
UnitedHealth Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite UNH   Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT  
Charter Communications, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201656355/composite CHTR   Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL  
Source: UBS Source: Robintrack

One notable spot of overlap: Microsoft Corp. makes both lists. One notable contrast: Apple Inc., which comes in at number ten on the Robintrack list of retail investor account holdings, is the single largest underweight among institutional investors, according to UBS’ calculations.

Related: These 2 stocks dominated S&P 500 returns in 2019 — and the decade

/zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 6.86
-0.07 -1.01%
Volume: 47.48M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:04p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$27.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
$805,719
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 6.86
-0.07 -1.01%
Volume: 47.48M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:04p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$27.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
$805,719
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200389143/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 449.57
-14.54 -3.13%
Volume: 3.29M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
59.29
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$215.64 billion
Rev. per Employee
$445,024
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/zigman2/quotes/208495069/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 6.40
+0.07 +1.11%
Volume: 83.06M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.65
Dividend Yield
0.63%
Market Cap
$56.02 billion
Rev. per Employee
$429,735
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207581792/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 328.02
-2.12 -0.64%
Volume: 3.66M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
45.39
Dividend Yield
0.49%
Market Cap
$328.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.01M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209207041/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 13.03
-0.01 -0.08%
Volume: 61.70M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$6.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
$345,547
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,498.37
-6.58 -0.44%
Volume: 1.39M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
33.42
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1017.84 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.39M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200327741/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 27.18
+0.10 +0.37%
Volume: 15.25M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$17.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
$499,337
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208054269/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 198.63
-5.46 -2.68%
Volume: 6.53M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
91.15
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$233.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
$710,138
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 129.93
-0.89 -0.68%
Volume: 16.09M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:02p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$234.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$295,532
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200515854/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 201.05
-6.74 -3.24%
Volume: 5.42M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$180.83 billion
Rev. per Employee
$379,486
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202325446/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 14.22
+0.44 +3.19%
Volume: 36.32M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$10.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 212.48
-3.87 -1.79%
Volume: 27.82M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
36.89
Dividend Yield
0.96%
Market Cap
$1607.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$902,473
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209165587/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 4.94
-0.62 -11.15%
Volume: 5.83M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$779.72 million
Rev. per Employee
$1.29M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201948298/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 252.10
-13.58 -5.11%
Volume: 22.53M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
31.33
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$690.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$781,259
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 10.27
-0.04 -0.39%
Volume: 1.92M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$94,401
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 317.03
+2.97 +0.95%
Volume: 2.60M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
17.83
Dividend Yield
1.58%
Market Cap
$301.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$754,157
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 212.48
-3.87 -1.79%
Volume: 27.82M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
36.89
Dividend Yield
0.96%
Market Cap
$1607.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$902,473
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201656355/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 601.87
-0.27 -0.04%
Volume: 810,938
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
56.77
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$123.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
$445,245
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 444.45
-10.34 -2.27%
Volume: 49.51M
Aug. 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
33.78
Dividend Yield
0.74%
Market Cap
$1900.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.98M
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Andrea Riquier reports on housing and banking from MarketWatch's New York newsroom. Follow her on Twitter @ARiquier.

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