News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – July 1, 2013

08 July 2013


Market Summary:  

The U.S. equity markets ended the second half of 2013 in positive territory.  However, it was not enough to reverse the course of the S&P 500® Index for the month of June. June is the only month in 2013 to have negative performance with a -1.34% return.  Concerns over tapering by the Fed continued and weakness in Chinese markets dampened the beginning of the week.  Conversely, positive economic data from manufacturing, housing and consumer confidence provided strength mid-week and initial jobless claims decreased, adding to the good news.  Finally, Q1 GDP was weaker than expected, increasing investors’ hopes for continued Fed stimulus measures.  Going into the holiday-shortened week, investors hope to avoid any fireworks in the market!

The S&P 500® was up 0.9% for the week.  The top-performing sectors in the S&P 500® Index included Utilities (3.0%) and Consumer Discretionary (2.5%), while bottom-performing sectors included Technology (-0.2%) and Basic Materials (-1.5%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield stayed even during the week, ending at 2.5%.

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

Growth Strategy

EBAYeBay, Inc. (EBAY) and its subsidiaries provide online marketplaces for the sale of goods and services and online payments services, including PayPal and BillMeLater, to individuals and businesses in the United States and internationally.

Recently, EBAY has orchestrated a revitalization of its online auction offerings while continuing to generate impressive growth in its payment services business.  While some of the company results have been masked by the overall economic pressures, EBAY has shown improvements in several key operating metrics.  With the company’s online auction restructuring on track and a management team focused on restoring growth to the company, we are encouraged by EBAY’s progress and a strategy that has the potential to offer attractive upside to investors.

Top 10 Equity Holdings

Google, Inc. 5.7%
Lowes Co. 4.5%
CBS Corp. 4.5%
Gilead Sciences 4.1%
Danaher Corp. 3.9%
SunTrust Banks 3.9%
Forest Laboratories 3.7%
MasterCard, Inc. 3.5%
Procter & Gamble 3.4%
Qualcomm Inc. 3.4%

U.S. Equity Indices

Index 06/28/13 Week % Chg YTD % Chg
DJIA 14,909.6 0.7% 13.8%
NASDAQ 3,403.2 1.4% 12.7%
S&P 500 1,606.3 0.9% 12.6%
Russell 1000 G 729.6 0.9% 10.9%

U.S. Credit Rates

Index 06/28/13 06/21/13 12/31/12
3 Month T-Bill 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
5 Year T-Note 1.4% 1.4% 0.8%
10 Year T-Note 2.5% 2.5% 1.8%
30 Year T-Bond 3.5% 3.6% 3.0%
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.