News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – February 13, 2017

14 February 2017


Earnings Surprise!

U.S. equity markets ended last week slightly up and the S&P 500® Index returned 0.9%. Additionally, the index pushed past January highs to close at a new all-time high of 2,316.0 on Friday.  Investors and media outlets were focused on President Trump’s travel-ban fight and the confirmation hearings of cabinet selections.  Most investors continue to remain optimistic of President Trump’s intent of creating a pro-growth business environment.  In economic news, U.S. initial jobless claims came in below consensus estimates and crude oil experienced volatility in the week but ultimately closed at $53.86 a barrel, a 0.06% advance from the previous week.  Finally, investors continued to digest earnings reports from Corporate America.  Thus far, 357 S&P 500 companies have reported fourth quarter earnings and 262 have shown higher EPS while 239 have reported a positive earnings surprise.  Looking ahead, investors will continue to pay close attention to President Trump and hope for continued positive earnings.

The S&P 500® Index was up 0.8% for the week. The top-performing sectors in the S&P 500® Index included Industrials (1.6%) and Consumer Discretionary (1.4%), while bottom-performing sectors included Basic Materials (0.0%) and Energy (-0.7%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was down during the week, ending at 2.4%.

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

Turn Around Effort

Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX) engages in the development, manufacture and marketing of medical devices that are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties.

BSX has undergone a multi-year turn-around effort. This turn-around has been driven by several new product introductions yielding positive results for the company.  We believe these encouraging changes have put BSX in a position to be a leading growth company within the medical device space.  With the potential for accelerating sales growth and improving profitability, we feel BSX offers our clients favorable odds.


Top 10 Equity Holdings

Alphabet, Inc. (Google, Inc.) 6.7%
Post Holdings, Inc. 4.4%
Baxter International Inc. 4.0%
Masco Corporation 4.0%
Marvell Technology Group 3.9%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. 3.9%
Lincoln National 3.8%
CBS Corporation 3.7%
ON Semiconductor Corp. 3.7%
Skyworks Solutions, Inc. 3.7%

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.