News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – May 7, 2017

11 May 2017


Strong Jobs Market

U.S equity markets continued their upward trend and the S&P 500® Index finished last week up 0.7%. Additionally, the S&P 500 has returned 7.16% for the first fourth months of 2017 which marks the best first four month performance since 2013.  Last week, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to leave interest rates unchanged, increasing investors’ expectations of a rate increase in June.  In employment news, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 177,000 were added in April and the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.4%, the lowest rate since May 2007.  Crude oil retreated 6.3% for the week, declining $3.11 and closing at $42.22 per barrel as gasoline inventories rose for the third straight week.  Finally, investors paid close attention as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the revised GOP health care bill on Thursday.  Looking ahead, investors continue to digest corporate earnings reports and hope for good news.

The S&P 500® Index was up 0.6% for the week. The top-performing sectors in the S&P 500® Index included Technology (1.4%) and Financials (1.2%), while bottom-performing sectors included Energy (-0.7%) and Telecommunications (-1.2%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was up during the week, ending at 2.4%.

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

New Strategy

Lowe’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 implemented a new strategy that focuses on slowing store growth and improving store productivity and margins. LOW’s also plans to return capital back to investors through substantial share buyback offers. We believe the new strategy will be successful and offers an attractive risk / reward profile for our portfolio.


Top 10 Equity Holdings

Alphabet, Inc. (Google, Inc.) 7.4%
Baxter International Inc. 4.4%
Masco Corporation 4.2%
Post Holdings, Inc. 4.1%
Skyworks Solutions, Inc. 3.9%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. 3.7%
Marvell Technology Group 3.7%
CBS Corporation 3.7%
ON Semiconductor Corp. 3.6%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. 3.6%

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.