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AIG Replaces Apple as Hedge Funds’ Most-Loved Stock

Hedge funds run by the likes of Leon Cooperman and Dan Loeb have abandoned Apple stock and are taking large positions in AIG. So now what's the trade?

TheStreet CIO Stephane Link would be a buyer, but not just yet.

"I still like it, and if it were to weaken – mid-30s, I said it consistently – I would buy it back," she said Thursday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

"But I just don't like when everyone likes a stock, No. 1. Expectations are very high, No. 2, in terms of cash distribution. Everybody thinks they're going to announce a buyback, a dividend, whatever that is. They will down the road. They can't right now – the regulators won't let them."

Link said that she would continue to look at AIG's expenses, which she called "disappointing" last quarter.

"I think over time the story works," she added. "I just think I can get a better price."

News of the large positions came from a Goldman Sachs report looking at regulatory filings for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Besides Cooperman's Omega Advisors and Loeb's Third Point, other hedge funds moving into AIG stock after having dumped Apple include David Tepper's Appaloosa Management and Steven Cohen's SAC Capital.

Josh Brown of Fusion Analytics noted that the $5 billion-plus hedge funds' long positions in AIG were not infinitely positive for the stock.

"That's not great at the end when that ends, but it seems closer to the beginning. They will continue to support to the stock," he said. "They will be very quick to add to their positions on dips. Unless something changes, you can bet that they're going to want to push this higher."

Trader disclosure: On Feb. 21, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Josh Brown is long AAPL; Josh Brown is long BAC; Josh Brown is long GLD; Josh Brown is long XLU; Josh Brown is long TLT; Josh Brown is long XLF; Josh Brown is long WMT; Josh Brown is long TGT; Josh Brown is long GOOG; Jon Najarian is long ADP; Jon Najarian is long ADP CALLS; Jon Najarian is long GSK CALLS; Jon Najarian is long BWLD CALLS; Jon Najarian is long CSCO PUTS; Simon Baker is long C; Simon Baker is long JPM; Simon Baker is long GOOG; Simon Baker is long PAY; Stephanie Link is long AAPL; Stephanie Link is long GS; Stephanie Link is long CSCO; Stephanie Link is long SBUX; Stephanie Link is long FB; Stephanie Link is long HD; Stephanie Link is long TJX; Stephanie Link is long WY.

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AIG
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