News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – April 15, 2019

15 April 2019

Good News for Equities

Equity markets finished higher last week after the Federal Reserve moved to a more dovish stance on interest rates, saying the Fed felt justified in keeping interest rates “unchanged for the balance of the year.” In addition, early quarterly earnings reports were generally positive. Equity markets took these as welcomed news, as the S&P 500® Index rose 0.5% to close the week.

On a stock basis, Walt Disney Co. saw its shares jump over 11% last Friday after the company announced a new streaming service that will be priced at $6.99/mo. Predictably, Netflix Inc. fell over 4.5% on the news of an additional competitor with significant content entering the streaming video space. JPMorgan Chase’s stock was up over 4.5% Friday after the bank announced its 1Q19 financial results. Earnings were nearly 10% above consensus estimates, on revenue that was 5% higher than estimates. JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon credited strong U.S. consumer spending for the positive results. Wells Fargo & Co. fell 2.3% after its earnings came in below estimates although its revenues were higher than what the street expected. Both banks credited their positive 1Q19 results to the strength of U.S. economy.

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% for the week. Its top-performing sectors were Financials (2.1%) and Communication Services (1.5%), while bottom-performing sectors were Energy (-0.2%) and Health Care (-2.4%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was up, ending at 2.6%.

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

Change-Based Investment

Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX) develops, manufactures and markets medical devices used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties.

Boston Scientific has undergone a multi-year turnaround effort that has been driven by several product introductions yielding positive results for the company. In addition to these product launches, Boston Scientific has strengthened its growth outlook through a series of acquisitions focused on driving leading industry growth rates. We believe these encouraging changes have put Boston Scientific in position to be a leading growth company within the medical device space. With its potential for accelerating sales growth and improving profitability, we feel Boston Scientific fits well with Argent’s Change-BasedSM Investment approach.

Top 5 Equity Holdings

Large Cap Growth

Alphabet Inc. (Google) 7.8%
Post Holdings, Inc. 5.7%
Mastercard, Inc. 4.8%
Marvell Technology Group 4.6%
First Data Corporation 4.2%

Small Cap Core

Fortinet Inc. 3.2%
Planet Fitness, Inc. 3.1%
Merit Medical Systems 2.8%
G-III Apparel Group 2.8%
Gray Television Inc. 2.7%

Dividend Select

JPMorgan Chase & Co. 5.6%
Marvell Technology Group 4.2%
ConocoPhillips 4.1%
Pfizer Inc. 4.0%
Microsoft Corp. 3.9%

Mid Cap 

CDW Corporation 3.6%
Xilinx Inc. 3.3%
Cintas Corporation 3.2%
Amedisys, Inc. 3.1%
Zebra Technologies Corp. 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.