Investing

Insider Selling Light as Markets Begin Year-End Run

Despite the fact that the major stock indexes are still very near the all-time highs, and market volatility may have some reaching to pull the trigger, major insider selling for the past week was notably more quiet than insider buying. While insiders did shed some of their company stock, there was no rush to the exits to blow out huge blocks of shares. That may be a forward indicator that warms the heart of Wall Street bulls this holiday season.

We cover insider selling each week at 24/7 Wall St., and we like to remind readers that insiders selling their own company’s stock is not necessarily a negative sign. Many are overweighted to company shares and sell for reasons as diverse as financial planning to simple liquidity needs.

Here is this past week’s notable insider selling.

Wisdom Tree Investments Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF) had a director decide it was time to cash in some company stock. Some 387,682 shares of the exchange traded fund provider were sold at prices that ranged from $16.50 to $16.51. The total sale of stock came to $6.4 million. Shares closed trading Friday at $14.56, so it looks like a well-timed transaction.

Masco Corp. (NYSE: MAS) had a director of the company sell a block of 500,000 shares this week at prices from $24.73 to $24.90. The total sale came to a hefty $12.4 million. Masco manufactures, distributes and installs home improvement and building products in North America and internationally. Shares were changing hands on Friday’s close at $24.05.

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Liberty Ventures (NASDAQ: LVNTA) saw the chairman of the firm decide it was time to thin the stock herd a little. He sold 344,700 shares of the company stock at $28.64 to $28.95. The total sale came to $10 million. Liberty Ventures tracks the economic performance of Expedia, TripAdvisor, Tree.com, Interval Leisure Group, Time Warner, Time Warner Cable and AOL. The company is based in the United States. Liberty Ventures operates as a subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation. Shares ended the week at $36.12.

Tableau Software Inc. (NASDAQ: DATA) has been a super hot tech name and two directors of the company hit the bid this week and sold stock. They shed a combined 34,246 shares of the stock at $81.76. The total for the sale came to $2.8 million. The stock closed trading on Friday at $80.59.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS) was another company this week that had a director sell some stock. Wayne Sanders sold 43,146 shares of the soft drink giant at $71.89. The total came to a tidy $3.1 million. Shares ended trading on Friday at $7o.21.

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These companies also saw insider selling this past week: Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: ACGL), Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (NASDAQ: OZRK), Henry Schein Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC) and Acceleron Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: XLRN).

With insider buying outweighing selling this week, stock bulls may be very well positioned for an end of the year run. Limited sellers means the top brass at big companies feel their stock may be going higher.