Massive Energy and Health Care Trades Highlight Insider Buying: Abbott Labs, Baker Hughes, Datawatch, Impac Mortgage and More

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The stock market typically does exactly the opposite of what you expect, and last week, following the election, was no different. Many Wall Street pundits feared a massive sell-off if Donald Trump was elected president, and it has been exactly the opposite, as all of the indexes are trading right at all-time highs, and now many of those formerly bearish strategists are turning positive. One thing is for sure, the insiders are back with a vengeance, and the buyers were out in full force last week.

We cover insider buying each week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind readers that while insider buying is usually a very positive sign, it is not by itself a reason to run out and buy a stock. Sometimes insiders and 10% owners have stock purchase plans set up at intervals to add to their holdings. That aside, it still remains an overall positive indicator.

Here are some of the companies that reported insider buying last week.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) had the man at the top of the drug giant buying shares again last week. The CEO of the company, Miles White, bought another 369,950 shares of the stock at prices that ranged from $40.45 to $40.67. The total for the purchase was posted at $15 million. This is on the heels of other big stock purchases this year. Shares of Abbott Labs closed last Friday at $39.85.

Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) had a director purchasing shares last week. That director bought a total of 85,000 shares at $58.84 apiece. The total for the trade was set at $5 million. The company supplies oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the oil and natural gas industry worldwide and recently announced a huge merger deal with General Electric. The shares closed Friday at $60.79, so a very well-timed purchase.

Datawatch Corp. (NASDAQ: DWCH) had an institutional 10% owner of the company buying shares in a big way last week. G2 Investments made two buys of the stock during the week: The first was 582,470 shares at prices that ranged from $7.02 to $7.11. The total for that trade was $4 million. They followed that up with an additional purchase of 683,868 shares at $7.07 apiece. The total for that buy was $5 million. Datawatch designs, develops, markets and distributes business computer software products to self-service data preparation and visual data discovery markets in the United States and internationally. The shares closed Friday at $6.90.

Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. (NYSE: IMH) also had a 10% owner buying shares, although the buyer was not named. That owner bought a block of 235,000 shares at prices that ranged from $13.75 to $14.13. The total for the buy was posted at $3 million. The company operates as an independent residential mortgage lender in the United States. Its stock closed last Friday at $14.28.

Occidental Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OXY) had a director at the energy company acquiring shares last week. The director purchased a total of 10,000 shares at $64.89 per share. The total for the trade was just under $700,000. The company engages in the acquisition, exploration and development of oil and gas properties in the United States and internationally. The stock closed Friday at $68.22, so the timing looks good.

These companies also reported insider buying last week: Black Stone Mineral L.P. (NYSE: BSM), Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ), Medifast Inc. (NYSE: MED), NGL Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: NGL) and Paycom Software Inc. (NYSE: PAYC).

With the third-quarter earnings all but over, insiders have been buying in a big way. With the market again right at all-time highs, this is a very bullish sign for investors as we head to 2017.