News & Our Thinking

Weekly Investor

Weekly Investor – September 7, 2021

07 September 2021

S&P Posts Modest Gains

The major U.S. stock indexes traded in a narrow range last week, however the S&P 500® Index managed to post a modest gain for the second week in a row. The NASDAQ outperformed other indices for the second consecutive week while the Dow fell slightly. Despite sustaining a midmonth decline, the S&P 500 recovered to record its seventh positive month in a row, posting a return of about 3% in August. The index reached 12 record closing highs in the month.

In economic news, U.S. payroll growth slowed sharply in August, according to a monthly report released last Friday. The economy generated 235,000 new jobs last month, far short of economists’ expectations and trailing gains of nearly 1.1 million in July and 962,000 in June. On the flip side, a private report showed that the U.S. economy recorded its 15th consecutive monthly gain in manufacturing activity in August. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose 0.4% to 59.9. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in manufacturing activity,

The S&P 500 Index was up 1.5% for the week. Its top-performing sectors were Real Estate (4.0%) and Health Care (1.7%), while the bottom-performing sectors were Energy (-1.4%) and Financials (-2.5%). In the fixed-income market, the 10-year Treasury yield was even, ending at 1.3%.

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

Change Based Investment

Founded in 1930, AMETEK, Inc. is a U.S.-based manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices. The company operates through two business segments supplying devices to the medical (quality control equipment), energy (temperature measurement and calibration instruments), industrial (battery chargers and UPS systems) and aerospace and defense (engine sensors, cockpit indicators and display systems) markets.

We believe AMETEK’s acquisitions in technology will make the company’s manufacturing more efficient and will be a catalyst for growth. AMETEK’s sales have been hurt near term from the effects of COVID-19. Longer term, because of AMETEK’s attractive valuation and acquisition strategy designed to increase efficiency and grow shareholder value, we believe AMETEK fits our Change-BasedSM investment approach.

Top 5 Equity Holdings

Large Cap Growth

Alphabet, Inc.(Google) 8.4%
Apple, Inc. 6.5%
Danaher Corporation 6.1%
Target Corporation 5.5%
D.R. Horton, Inc. 4.6%

Small Cap Core

Fortinet, Inc. 5.0%
Medpace Holdings, Inc. 4.7%
OneMain Holdings, Inc. 4.4%
Select Medical Holdings 3.1%
ASGN Incorporated 3.1%

Dividend Select

Target Corporation 6.7%
Microsoft Corporation 6.4%
JPMorgan Chase & Co. 5.4%
Life Storage, Inc. 4.6%
Eaton Corporation Plc 4.4%

Mid Cap 

Zebra Technologies Corp. 4.7%
CDW Corporation 4.2%
Marvell Technology, Inc. 4.0%
Cintas Corporation 3.7%
Builders FirstSource, Inc. 3.5%

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.