A year-to-date gain of approximately 7.24% for shares of Intel Corporation (INTC) has likely been influenced by continual institutional support for the stock. In fact, the company's institutional ownership rate sits at 70% and will likely grow after Intel reported strong earnings last month. The main factor that drives shares is simply supply and demand – and Intel stock has recently been in demand. Large institutional players have been in accumulation mode as the company continues to outperform expectations. Betting on leading stocks with growing earnings, rising dividends, great technicals and increasing institutional activity can be a smart move for long-term shareholders.