News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – April 7, 2014

14 April 2014


Closing Out the First Quarter

Market Summary: 

U.S. equity markets ended the week mixed. Monday was the strongest performing day of the week and the first quarter of 2014 officially ended with favorable comments by Janet Yellen, Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.  Yellen stated that Fed will maintain the current low interest rate environment in order to stimulate borrowing, spending and economic growth.  However, later in the week, lower than expected March ISM Manufacturing data and an unchanged unemployment rate of 6.7% hurt equity performance.  Looking ahead, investors will begin to digest first quarter corporate earnings reports and hope for continuing signs of a strong U.S. economy.

The S&P 500® was up 0.4% for the week.  The top-performing sectors in the S&P 500® Index included Industrials (1.4%) and Telecommunications (1.4%), while bottom-performing sectors included Financials (0.2%) and Consumer Technology (-0.7%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was even during the week, ending at 2.7%.

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

Impressive Risk/Reward Profile

LOWLowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW) operate as a home improvement retailer. The company offers a range of products for repair, remodeling, home decorating, and property maintenance.

LOW’s has recently implemented a new strategy that focuses on slowing store growth and improving store productivity and margins.  LOW’s successfully executed plans to return capital back to investors through substantial share buyback offers.  Additionally, we believe the new strategy will be successful and offers an attractive risk / reward profile for our portfolio as the housing market continues to improve.

Top 10 Equity Holdings

Google, Inc. 5.8%
CBS Corp. 4.7%
SunTrust Banks, Inc. 4.0%
Danaher Corp. 3.9%
Quanta Services, Inc. 3.6%
Qualcomm, Inc. 3.6%
Lincoln National 3.6%
The Dow Chemical Co. 3.5%
Amgen, Inc. 3.5%
JP Morgan Chase 3.5%

U.S. Equity Indices

Index 04/04/14 Week % Chg YTD % Chg
DJIA 16,412.7 0.5% -1.0%
NASDAQ 4,127.7 -0.7% -1.2%
S&P 500 1,865.1 0.4% 0.9%
Russell 1000 G 862.8 0.0% -0.1%

U.S. Credit Rates

Index 04/04/14 03/28/14 12/31/13
3 Month T-Bill 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
5 Year T-Note 1.7% 1.7% 1.8%
10 Year T-Note 2.7% 2.7% 3.0%
30 Year T-Bond 3.6% 3.5% 4.0%
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.