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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BlackRock, Goldman Sachs Group, Blackstone Group, Bank of New York Mellon and Google

CHICAGO, Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK-Free Report), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS-Free Report), Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX-Free Report), Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE:BK-Free Report) and Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOGL-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Alternative Mutual Funds Under SEC Scrutiny

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) came up with the regulatory examination of alternative mutual funds. These mutual funds, proposed to be more risky than standard ones, have raised concerns regarding their compliance with leverage and liquidity rules.

Alternative funds, also known as liquid alternative funds, are types of mutual funds that resemble hedge-fund-like strategies. Such strategies include betting on some stocks and against others, trading futures contracts and utilizing derivatives to augment leverage.

Alternative funds, which gained popularity over a short period, have been recommended by fund companies as the hedging tools against market risk for small investors at a lower cost. According to fund research firm Morningstar Inc., these funds recorded inflows of $40.2 billion in 2013, up from $14.5 billion in 2012.

The SEC strategizes to test around 25 of the funds over the next several months. The results of the test will determine the process of operating these mutual funds and the underlying degree of risk. Depending on the outcome, the SEC may decide if more fund companies need to be examined.

Some large investment firms, including BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK-Free Report) and AQR Capital Management LLC, have come under the purview of scrutiny along with certain smaller firms, which initiated issuing such funds.

Some firms, which are on the verge of launching such funds for the first time or have already initiated, include The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS-Free Report), The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX-Free Report), The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE:BK-Free Report) and Pacific Investment Management Co.

Following the surge of investments in alternative mutual funds, the SEC is examining the liquidity of these funds and the system followed by the funds' boards in executing these funds' operations. Moreover, along with funds' managers, mutual fund board members are also being questioned.

As per the Investment Company Act of 1940, the SEC regulates mutual funds to safeguard investors. The scrutiny is currently seeking information about the industry and not enforcing any actions. However, the outcome of the examination would give a clear picture for both funds' managers and investors and help SEC and other regulators decide on the next corrective action.

Google, Asian Firms to Build Faster Marine Internet Cable

Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOGL-Free Report) recently announced that it will collaborate with five Asian telecommunication companies in a bid to develop a high-speed underwater cable network between the U.S. and Asia.

The consortium will invest around $300 million to build the fiber-optic cable system, FASTER, on the Trans-Pacific route connecting the U.S. to Japan. As is evident from the name of the project, the network is projected to transfer data 10 million times faster than traditional cable modems and will have the capacity to transmit 60 terabits of data per second.

The latest project will help Google to further spread its reach and offer better user experience. Therefore, if successful, Google's latest move will bolster its customer base, which will ultimately translate into more revenues for the tech giant. Moreover, it will help it to develop a fast and reliable network infrastructure with extra bandwidth, which could benefit its other businesses including Android and Cloud.

This will be the third main Pacific cable project that Google has invested in. In 2008, Google had invested in a network to Japan. Three years later, it invested in a connection between Japan, Thailand and the Philippines.  

This time Google will collaborate with China Telecom, China Mobile International, Malaysia's Global Transit, Japan's KDDI and Singapore's SingTel to help it carry out the project swiftly.

Google, the world's largest online search engine, is gradually strengthening its foothold in new markets.

Google shares currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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