News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – March 15, 2021

22 March 2021

Market Sentiment Up Following Relief Bill

The S&P 500® Index traded higher last week, rising nearly 2.6%. Market sentiment was high following the passing of the historic $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill. There was evidence that the economy continued to be on the mend. U.S. jobless benefits fell by more than consensus, more states have eased pandemic restrictions and vaccinations have accelerated. Vaccine distribution is running at 2.3 million shots per day, with a total of over 100 million doses administered and 66 million people have received at least one shot.

The best performing stock in the S&P 500 came from Communication Services, the worst-performing sector in the index. ViacomCBS Inc. rose 10.3% on Friday and gained over 28.0% for the week. The company had recent success with its slate of programming, including a highly watched Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Megan Markle and a share of the upcoming NCAA March Madness tournament broadcast. Looking to this week, the Federal Reserve’s FOMC will deliver its rate decision on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 Index was up 2.6% for the week. Its top-performing sectors were Consumer Discretionary (5.7%) and Real Estate (5.7%), while the bottom-performing sectors were Energy (1.1%) and Communication Services (0.7%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was even, ending at 1.6%.

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

Change Based Investment

Comcast Corporation, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a telecommunications conglomerate serving both residential and commercial customers. Comcast owns many well-known companies such as Universal Studios and NBCUniversal. Comcast offers cable TV, internet, home telephone services and produces feature films and television programs.

Comcast is experiencing growth in its internet business as it gains market share from traditional providers as customers place a higher emphasis on performance. Comcast’s push into Europe, with its acquisition of Skye and its over-the-top offering of streaming service, Peacock, should drive growth in the future. Argent also sees opportunity given Comcast’s attractive valuation and its ability to increase profit margins. Recently, the company has been pressured from COVID-19. Longer term, with the positive changes of higher subscriber rates, increasing profit margins and an attractive valuation, we believe Comcast fits our Change-BasedSM investment approach.

Top 5 Equity Holdings

Large Cap Growth

Alphabet, Inc.(Google) 6.9%
Apple, Inc. 5.9%
Target Corporation 5.6%
Mastercard Incorporated 5.4%
Danaher Corporation 4.6%

Small Cap Core

OneMain Holdings, Inc. 4.2%
Medpace Holdings, Inc. 4.0%
Fortinet, Inc. 3.8%
America’s Car-Mart, Inc. 3.2%
UFP Industries, Inc. 2.9%

Dividend Select

Target Corporation 6.4%
JPMorgan Chase & Co. 6.0%
Microsoft Corporation 5.7%
Eaton Corporation Plc 4.2%
Truist Financial Corp. 4.1%

Mid Cap 

Zebra Technologies Corp. 4.3%
Cintas Corporation 3.9%
CDW Corporation 3.8%
Marvell Technology Group 3.5%
Builders FirstSource, Inc. 3.4%

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.