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Today in Tech: Hedge Funds Dump Apple for Microsoft and Google


Hedge funds are selling Apple and buying Google and Microsoft. Why? Plus what's up with Hewlett-Packard?

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Apple (AAPL) is tanking today after major hedge funds dumped the stock over the course of last quarter. SAC Capital and Viking Global Investors are among the hedge funds that sold 6.1 million shares of Apple during the first quarter. At the same time, hedge funds collectively bought a net 9.25 million shares of Microsoft (MSFT) and 3.39 million shares of Google (GOOG).

Today Apple is down 2.18%. At a two-month low of $534.91, it's about $100 off the all-time high of $644.00. Hedge funds are still major holders of Apple. The net selling of Apple is probably just a profit-taking while the stock was high.

Google is upgrading its search results with a "Knowledge Graph" that shows the connections between people, places, and things. The new search results will go from just finding strings of characters in keywords to finding actual real things. The new system will "disambiguate" results when a keyword can have different meanings.

Another word for this is "semantic search" and it is already out there in the wild on Google and Bing. Google can already answer questions by "understanding" the meaning of your query rather than just providing a long list of links. For example, if you search the name of a drug, Google will show a short description of the drug. Search for "devils" and you get a list of recent NJ Devils games with scores, and an opportunity to buy tickets for Saturday's game against the Rangers. Try it now. Ask Google what Hulk Hogan's real name is.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is reportedly considering 25,000 job cuts to reduce costs. Demand has waned for HP's personal computers as more potential customers opt to buy tablets (read: iPads). The company is hoping to boost consumer PC sales with ultra-thin "sleekbooks" that run with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) chips rather than Intel (INTC) processors.

In case you just woke up from half a year of cryogenic freeze, it's Christmas Eve. Facebook (FB) will debut on the Nasdaq (^IXIC) tomorrow. Minyanville will be covering Facebook's first day as a public company in depth.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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