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Mutual funds still love Apple (AAPL), but Google (GOOG) has now trumped it as the most widely held stock among equity mutual funds, according to the latest research from Morningstar.

Apple is now in second place, followed by Microsoft (MSFT), which bumped Exxon Mobil (XOM) out of third place. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

Financial heavyweights have also moved up: Wells Fargo (WFC) and JP Morgan (JPM) are now in fourth and fifth place, respectively, while Exxon Mobil, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and other slower growing, high-yielding stocks have moved down the list.

This is the first time since 2010 that the top three stocks held by mutual funds have been dominated by technology. Experts say that's because investors are more confident and more focused on investing in growth, and not as fearful as when the market started to recover from the bottom in March 2009.

"With an uptick in economic activity, growth stocks are now primed for outperformance," said Chris Grisanti, portfolio manager at Grisanti Capital Management, adding that the dividend income play in this low-rate environment is overcrowded.

Such dividend plays have been on a tear this year -- the S&P Healthcare and Consumer Discretionary sectors, both of which have on average a higher dividend yield than the S&P 500 ($INX), are up over 30 percent this year.

Given tech's dominance in this year's fund holdings, the average dividend yield of the top 10 stocks held by funds has slid to 2.58 percent, compared with 2.61 percent in 2012.

BNY Mellon's Jack Malvey said the street is focused on finding stocks that are not as exposed to the volatility in interest rates, and that's why we're seeing high growth sectors like tech get a bid.

"Further enthusiasm in the next technology wave -- specifically in big data -- a concept that has been well advertised, has provided a high level of excitement around investing in next generation technology," he said. Malvey also pointed out that the global recovery and improvement in economic data have pushed investors into technology.

However, not everyone believes tech can continue its move higher. While Google is the top stock held by mutual funds, Rick Summer, analyst at Morningstar, said: "Google is not an exciting opportunity given that it has already had a strong run."

Google shares broke above $1,000 in October, and, with a price-to-earnings ratio of 29, are trading at a premium to the S&P 500.

Of the 3,700 funds tracked by Lipper Funds, 944 are invested in shares of Apple, while 841 hold Google.

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