News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – November 25, 2019

26 November 2019

Trade News Stalls Gains

After six weeks of gains, the S&P 500® Index fell last week, Stocks were stable until Wednesday when the index dropped approximately 20 points midday on reports that a United States and China trade deal could be delayed until next year, This came after retaliatory threats from China over a U.S. congressional bill showing support for an autonomous Hong Kong. Stocks recovered slightly on Friday after U.S. President Trump claimed to be very close to a trade deal.

Retailers hit both ends of the performance spectrum last week with Target Corporation showing the best return, rising nearly 13%. while Kohl’s Corporation showed the worst, dropping over 20%. The Charles Schwab Corporation climbed over 8% last week on reports that the discount broker was in talks to acquire rival TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. That stock climbed nearly 17% on Thursday’s news. Competition has increased in the space with the lowering of commissions to attract more investors’ assets. Earnings announcements expected this week include Deere & company, Analog Devices, Inc., Autodesk Inc. and Dollar Tree Inc., amongst others.

The S&P 500® Index was down 0.3% for the week. Its top-performing sectors were Health Care (0.8%) and Financials (0.5%), while the bottom-performing sectors were Real Estate (-1.2%) and Basic Materials (-1.7%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was even, ending at 1.8%.

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

Change Based Investment

Biogen Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers therapies to treat neurological and autoimmune diseased worldwide. Biogen Inc. was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Biogen’s CEO, named in 2016, announced a more focused strategy aimed at accelerating the company’s growth prospects through internal research as well as business development efforts. This comes on the heels of a new product launch that is driving better-than-expected results for the company. We continue to believe investors are under-appreciating the depth of Biogen’s pipeline, which includes therapies targeting Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s to name a few. With clinical data for ten mid-to-late stage drug trials over the next 18 months, Biogen’s attractive valuation offers a compelling opportunity. These changes within Biogen make it a good fit for Argent’s Change-BasedSM investment approach.


Top 5 Equity Holdings

Large Cap Growth

Alphabet Inc. (Google) 7.7%
Fiserv, Inc. 5.3%
Mastercard, Incorporated 5.3%
Target Corporation 5.3%
Post Holdings, Inc. 4.8%

Small Cap Core

Atkore International Group 3.4%
Fortinet, Inc. 3.0%
World Fuel Services 2.8%
OneMain Holdings, Inc. 2.7%
Callaway Golf Company 2.5%

Dividend Select

JPMorgan Chase & Co. 6.1%
Target Corporation 5.5%
Microsoft Corporation 4.4%
Marvell Technology Group 4.2%
Fidelity National Financial 3.9%

Mid Cap 

CDW Corporation 4.4%
Cintas Corporation 3.7%
Amedisys, Inc. 3.7%
Copart,Inc. 3.4%
NVR, 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.