News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – August 9, 2021

09 August 2021

Strong Jobs Report Helps Markets

Once again, the S&P 500® Index closed at an all-time high last week. A strong jobs report helped the market’s rise, as Non-Farm Payrolls for July were ahead of expectations. In addition, the unemployment rate fell to 5.4% from 5.9% last month. Finally, hourly earnings surprised to the upside.

Earnings season is slowing down, as 414 of the S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly results. Last week, several large cap health care names announced quarterly results. Eli Lilly & Company released quarterly revenue ahead of expectations but missed on earnings. The company announced several positive developments in its drug pipeline, driving its share price up 8.2% last week. Moderna, Inc. saw its shares climb 17.0% for the week after the company reported revenue and earnings ahead of expectations as demand for its mRNA COVID vaccine remains high. Amgen Inc.’s revenue and earnings were ahead of expectations, but its stock price fell 4.7% on lumpy drug pipeline news. Apparel maker Under Armour, Inc. rallied 20.7% last week as the company released better-than-expected results.

The S&P 500 Index was up 0.9% for the week. Its top-performing sectors were Financials (3.6%) and Utilities (2.3%), while the bottom-performing sectors were Basic Materials (0.2%) and Consumer Staples (-0.5%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was up, ending at 1.3%.

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

Change Based Investment

Truist Financial Corporation is a bank holding company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company was formed by the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Bank, both regional banks based in the south.

Argent believes Truist’s enhanced scale will allow it to focus on best- of-breed systems and processes in order to drive a competitive advantage. Additionally, the combined company will be able to leverage complementary businesses in an attempt to generate additional sales. COVID-19 has impacted Truist’s operations, but Argent believes the unique features of the bank offer upside for our clients over the long term.

Top 5 Equity Holdings

Large Cap Growth

Alphabet, Inc.(Google) 8.1%
Apple, Inc. 6.3%
Target Corporation 6.0%
Danaher Corporation 5.7%
D.R. Horton, Inc. 4.7%

Small Cap Core

Fortinet, Inc. 4.8%
Medpace Holdings, Inc. 4.3%
OneMain Holdings, Inc. 4.2%
FirstService Corporation 3.1%
America’s Car-Mart Inc. 3.0%

Dividend Select

Target Corporation 7.2%
Microsoft Corporation 6.2%
JPMorgan Chase & Co. 5.4%
Life Storage, Inc. 4.3%
Eaton Corporation Plc 4.3%

Mid Cap 

Zebra Technologies Corp. 4.6%
CDW Corporation 4.1%
Marvell Technology, Inc. 4.0%
Cintas Corporation 3.8%
Builders FirstSource, Inc. 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.