News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – Jan. 24, 2011

24 January 2011

A Mixed Week

Market Summary:  

The major U.S. equity averages ended the week with mixed results.  The technology -heavy NASDAQ was weighed down by negative sentiments on Apple and Google.  Despite beating analysts’ expectations, investors question Apple’s ability to grow as CEO Steve Jobs takes an indefinite medical leave.  GOOG also reported upper management changes which dampened the enthusiasm of a better-than-expected quarter. However, the Dow achieved a positive week, supported by solid quarterly results by GE and IBM.  During the week, the Materials sector pulled back due to fear that China’s economic growth will slow as the Chinese government considers further policy changes to control inflation.

Over the past week, top-performing sectors in the S&P 500® Index included Utilities (+0.7%) and Industrials (+0.3%), while bottom-performing sectors included Basic Materials (-3.3%) and Technology (-1.7%).  In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury remained little changed during the week with the yield ending at 3.4%.

We continue to seek those companies possessing identifiable catalysts, and focusing on those stocks with favorable odds.


More Growth on the Way


Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) develops, manufactures and brings to market therapies for multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and lymphoma. BIIB also has numerous products in the pipeline for treating complications such as hyponatremia. The company currently offers four products: Avonex, Rituxan, Tysabri and Fumaderm.

Upcoming catalysts that should help garner attention from investors include the expansion of its lead oncology drug, Rituxan, as well as the continued penetration of its next-generation MS drug, Tysabri.  While Wall Street remains skeptical of BIIB’s ability to deliver growth into the next decade, feedback from our Main Street contacts gives us added confidence in the company’s ability to continue delivering innovative medical treatments.



Top 10 Equity Holdings

Google Inc. 4.1%
Starwood Hotels 4.1%
Carnival Corp. 3.8%
Danaher Corp. 3.8%
Qualcomm Inc. 3.7%
Maxim Integrated 3.4%
Energizer Holdings 3.4%
EMC Corp. 3.3%
FactSet Research 3.3%
Cisco Systems Inc. 3.3%

U.S. Equity Indices

Index 01/21/11 Week % Chg YTD % Chg
DJIA 11,871.8 0.7% 2.5%
NASDAQ 2,689.5 -2.4% 1.4%
S&P 500 1,283.4 -0.8% 2.0%
Russell 1000 G 585.1 -1.1% 1.8%

U.S. Credit Rates

Index 01/21/11 01/14/11 12/31/10
3 Month T-Bill 0.2% 0.2% 0.1%
5 Year T-Note 2.0% 2.0% 2.0%
10 Year T-Note 3.4% 3.4% 3.3%
30 Year T-Bond 4.6% 4.6% 4.3%
Prime Rate 3.3% 3.3% 3.3%

This newsletter presents selected recommendations from portfolio managers of Argent Capital Management LLC, a registered investment advisor. Opinions reflect the portfolio manager’s judgment on the date above and are subject to change. A list of stocks recommended by Argent is available upon request. You should not assume that these recommendations are or will be profitable. In the course of it’s business, Argent’s client accounts may be buying and selling these stocks.