News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – January 28, 2019

29 January 2019

End of Week Rally

After selling-off to begin the holiday-shortened week, equity markets rallied back to finish about flat last week. Stocks opened on shaky ground after the International Monetary Fund reduced its forecast for global economic growth and the Chinese economy grew at its slowest pace since 1990. U.S. stocks moved higher on the final three days of the week as positive earnings and a short-term funding package to reopen the government buoyed the market. Shares of the International Business Machines jumped by over 10% after projecting strong future growth from cloud computing and data analytics. Proctor & Gamble Co. also reported strong results as the company’s organic sales growth climbed to 4%. By contrast, Freeport-McMoRan Inc., a large copper miner, fell over 10% for the week on concerns over copper demand and higher costs.The S&P 500® Index is projected to grow earnings by 12% for the 4th quarter and 6% in 2019 as the tax-cuts sunset and global growth slows.

In economic news, resales of houses weakened to the slowest pace in three years as higher prices have kept many potential buyers out of the market. This week, January’s employment report and progress in trade talks will be key issues on investors’ minds.

The S&P 500 was down -0.2% for the week. Its top-performing sectors were Real Estate (1.5%) and Technology (1.0%), while bottom-performing  sectors were Consumer Staples (-1.4%) and Energy (-1.5%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was even, ending at 2.8%.

We continue to seek companies that reflect our Change-BasedSM investment approach.

Changed-Based Investments

Founded in 1966, MasterCard Inc. (MA) provides technology to enable electronic payments for individuals, financial institutions, merchants,   governments and businesses worldwide. MasterCard’s brands include MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus.

MasterCard is well-positioned to benefit from the continuing change in payment from cash and checks to electronic transactions. The company has a solid track record of being a technology leader in its industry, consistently delivering growth to its shareholders. We believe the growth prospects for the company and the change in payments globally make MasterCard a fit for  Argent’s Change BasedSM Investing approach.


 Top 5 Equity Holdings

Large Cap Growth

Alphabet Inc. (Google) 7.8%
Post Holdings, Inc. 5.3%
First Data Corporation 4.6%
Mastercard, Inc. 4.6%
Marvell Technology 4.0%

Small Cap Core

Fortinet Inc. 3.1%
Wintrust Financial Corp. 2.8%
Planet Fitness, Inc. 2.8%
Merit Medical Systems 2.7%
Amphastar Pharma. 2.6%

Dividend Select

JPMorgan Chase & Co. 5.7%
ConocoPhillips 4.4%
Pfizer Inc. 4.2%
Occidental Petroleum 3.9%
Microsoft Corp. 3.7%

Mid Cap 

Amedisys, Inc. 3.6%
Cintas Corporation 3.2%
Ciena Corporation 3.2%
CDW Corporation 3.2%
Xilinx Inc. 3.1%

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.