News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – December 30, 2013

30 December 2013

Cheers to 2013!

Market Summary: 

U.S. equity markets continued their positive climb, posting positive performance last week.  In fact, the S&P 500® Index set consecutive all-time highs and closed just over 1841 for the week.  Economic data was also generally positive as durable goods orders increased during the month of November and initial jobless claims decreased. Additionally, the International Monetary Fund raised its U.S. economic outlook citing the budget deal in Washington and Federal Reserve tapering plans as tailwinds for a strengthening U.S. economy.  With one day left to the year, the S&P 500 is up nearly 32% year-to-date which is its best year since 1997 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 29%, its best year since 1996. Looking forward, investors can toast and celebrate 2013 as a great one for equity investors!

The S&P 500® was up 1.3% for the week.  The top-performing sectors in the S&P 500® Index included Basic Materials (2.3%) and Telecommunications (2.3%), while bottom-performing sectors included Consumer Staples (0.6%) and Utilities (-0.2%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was up during the week, ending at 3.0%.

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

Strategy Change

cbsCBS Corporation (CBS) operates a worldwide mass media company and is headquartered in New York, New York.  Founded in 1986, CBS has operations in every field of media including broadcast television, cable television, radio, outdoor advertising, publishing, interactive media, and entertainment.

Recently, a structural change between content providers, such as CBS, and distributors, such as cable and satellite operators, has provided additional profitability for CBS. CBS now has the ability to leverage the value of its content when negotiating retransmission fees.  In addition, increased demand for online content from video distributors such as Netflix provide a new and meaningful growth source for CBS.  We expect CBS will successfully continue to generate value from its content, therefore creating favorable odds for our clients.

Top 10 Equity Holdings

Google, Inc. 6.1%
CBS Corp. 4.9%
Lowes Cos. 4.6%
Forest Laboratories 4.5%
MasterCard, Inc. 4.2%
Danaher Corp. 4.1%
Endo Health Solutions 4.0%
SunTrust Banks 3.8%
Amgen Inc. 3.5%
Qualcomm Inc. 3.5%

U.S. Equity Indices

Index 12/27/13 Week % Chg YTD % Chg
DJIA 16,478.4 1.6% 25.7%
NASDAQ 4,156.6 1.3% 37.7%
S&P 500 1,841.4 1.3% 29.1%
Russell 1000 G 859.2 1.2% 30.6%

U.S. Credit Rates

Index 12/27/13 12/20/13 12/31/12
3 Month T-Bill 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
5 Year T-Note 1.7% 1.7% 0.8%
10 Year T-Note 3.0% 2.9% 1.8%
30 Year T-Bond 3.9% 3.8% 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.