News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – November 23, 2020

23 November 2020

Positive News from Vaccine Trials

The S&P 500® Index declined last week, even in the face of positive vaccine news. Vaccine trials from Moderna, Inc. and Pfizer Inc. were the focus of the market early in the week, as both companies announced efficacy of around 95% and are seeking to fast-track their manufacturing and distribution. The positive news from vaccine data was met with the negative reality of today, impacting the market for the week. COVID-19 caseloads continue to climb, while some state and local governments implement new shutdowns and other restrictions.

In election news, Georgia’s Secretary of State certified the state’s election results after completing a hand audit of over five million ballots last Friday. President Trump will have until Tuesday to request a recount. On Capitol Hill, the Chief Executive Officers of Twitter, Inc. and Facebook, Inc. faced a range of questions by the Senate Judiciary Committee about how the two companies handled political content during the election cycle. Looking to this week, investors will get a gauge on the economy as initial jobless claims will be released on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 Index was down 0.8% for the week. Its top-performing sectors were Energy (5.0%) and Basic Materials (1.1%), while the bottom-performing sectors were Health Care (-3.0%) and Utilities (-3.9%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was down, ending at 0.8%.

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

Change Based Investment

Starbucks Corporation is a coffee company and coffeehouse chain. It operates as a roaster, marketer and retailer of specialty coffee worldwide. The company was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971 and operates over 30,000 locations worldwide.

Starbucks is finding new ways to improve margins and speed of delivery from its enhanced technology, platforms and processes within its cafes and mobile ordering application. Additionally, Starbucks has significant growth opportunities such as the Chinese market and increased cold beverage and food sales worldwide. While the company is being impacted by the coronavirus today we believe Starbucks’ positive growth opportunities will be realized over time for our long-term investors.

Top 5 Equity Holdings

Large Cap Growth

Alphabet, Inc.(Google) 6.6%
Apple, Inc. 6.5%
Target Corporation 5.7%
Danaher Corporation 6.1%
Mastercard Incorporated 5.1%

Small Cap Core

Medpace Holdings, Inc. 4.0%
OneMain Holdings, Inc. 3.3%
Fortinet, Inc. 3.0%
Envestnet, Inc. 2.9%
PetIQ, Inc. 2.9%

Dividend Select

Target Corporation 6.9%
Microsoft Corporation 5.7%
JPMorgan Chase & Co. 5.0%
Eaton Corporation Plc 4.0%
Comcast Corporation 3.7%

Mid Cap 

NVIDIA Corporation 5.2%
Cintas Corporation 4.5%
Marvell Technology Group 3.7%
Zebra Technologies Corp. 3.7%
CDW Corporation 3.6%

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.