News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – September 16, 2019

18 September 2019

Trade Optimism Returns

Stocks moved higher last week on a better-than-expected economic data and trade optimism between the U.S. and China. The consumer remains especially strong as retail sales were above expectations, and consumer confidence rebounded from August. The market was bifurcated for the week with value stocks, those companies more closely tied to the ups and downs of the economy, outperforming growth stocks and defensive stocks.

Specific to individual stocks, shares of Oracle Corporation fell after reporting a disappointing quarter as cloud computing sales remain challenged. In addition, Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd announced he would be taking an unexpected leave of absence due to health reasons.

Looking ahead to this week, investors will be focused on the outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition, investors will closely follow updates from Saudi Arabia after its oil production facilities were attacked over the weekend.

The S&P 500® Index was up 1.0% for the week. Its top-performing sectors were Financials (3.9%) and Energy (3.4%), while bottom-performing sectors were Consumer Staples (-0.9%) and Real Estate (-3.2%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was up, ending at 1.9%.

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

Change Based Investment

Post Holdings, Inc. is a consumer packaged goods company that operates in the United States and internationally. The company was founded in 1897 and is based in St. Louis, Missouri. The company has many recognizable brands such as Grape-Nuts, Weetabix, Bob Evans Farms and Raisin Bran.

We think highly of Post’s management team and its ability to drive value creation for shareholders. The management team has successfully executed a number of acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures which have boosted returns to the company. We believe this creativity and focus on driving returns make Post a core holding for Argent’s Change BasedSM  investment approach.


Top 5 Equity Holdings

Large Cap Growth

Alphabet Inc. (Google) 7.7%
Mastercard, Inc. 5.4%
Post Holdings, Inc. 5.3%
Fiserv, Inc. 5.0%
Marvell Technology Group 4.9%

Small Cap Core

Fortinet, Inc. 2.8%
Atkore International Group 2.8%
World Fuel Services 2.6%
OneMain HOldings, Inc. 2.5%
Vonage Holdings Corp. 2.5%

Dividend Select

JPMorgan Chase & Co. 5.8%
Target Corporation 4.9%
Marvell Technology Group 4.4%
Microsoft Corporation 4.2%
Comcast Corporation 4.0%

Mid Cap 

Cintas Corporation 3.8%
CDW Corporation 3.8%
Bright Horizons Family 3.3%
NVR Inc. 3.3%
Copart, Inc. 3.3%

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.