News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – April 2, 2018

02 April 2018

Stocks Climb During Short Week

Stocks, measured by the S&P 500®, closed higher this week by 2%. The index closed the first three months of 2018 down -0.76%, its first quarterly loss since 2015. The first quarter of the year has seen an increase in volatility in the news and in the markets.

Technology stocks felt the weight of FANG as Amazon took the sector lower earlier in the week, after Facebook was the laggard the previous week. Consumer Staples stocks were the best-performing group in the S&P 500. The sector rallied each day last week as U.S. Treasury yields dropped. Other rate-sensitive sectors joined with Real Estate, Telecommunication Services, Utilities and Financials, which all were up over 2% for the week.

Looking ahead to next quarter, investors will be riding the wave of positive economic news. Personal income rose slightly for a second straight month as households also increased consumption.

The S&P 500 Index was up 2.0% for the week. Its top-performing sectors included Consumer Staples (3.5%) and Telecommunications (3.1%), while bottom-performing sectors included Consumer Discretionary (1.1%) and Energy (1%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was down during the week, ending at 2.7%.

We continue to seek companies that reflect our Change Based InvestingSM approach.

Steady, With Potential 

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) develops, licenses, manufactures, markets and distributes biopharmaceutical products worldwide. The company was founded in 1887 and is headquartered in New York.

Over the past few years, BMY’s stock has lagged the broader stock market as the excitement surrounding its lead cancer therapy has dimmed somewhat on competitive concerns. Investor worry has led to a stock that is much more attractively valued but still continues to possess one of the most exciting cancer programs in the health care industry. In addition, BMY has a strong core business that provides stable cash flows for the company along with upside potential in its pipeline. For these reasons, believe the company offers favorable odds for our clients.

 Top 5 Equity Holdings

Large Cap Growth

Alphabet Inc. 7.2%
Red Hat Inc. 5.2%
Baxter International 4.5%
Marvell Technology 4.5%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. 4.2%

Small Cap Core

Wintrust Financial 3.0%
Fortinet Inc. 2.8%
Lumentum Holdings 2.5%
Mastec Inc. 2.4%
First Internet Bancorp 2.3%

Dividend Select

JP Morgan Chase & Co. 5.8%
Principal Financial Group 3.9%
Marvell Technology 3.8%
Las Vegas Sands Corp. 3.8%
ConocoPhillips 3.7%

Mid Cap 

NVIDIA Corporation 6.4%
Applied Materials Inc. 3.6%
Cintas Corporation 2.9%
NVR Inc. 2.9%
Globus Medical Inc. 2.7%

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.