Barrons weekend summary: positive on ICE, VC, EPC, LYG
Cover story: Because of Australia's proximity to China, the worlds second-largest economy as a supplier of resources, the Aussie dollar has tracked the ups and downs of Chinas growthand is now signaling that the rebound in commodities might have further to run.
Tech Trader: For consumers, personal technology offers a range of intriguing gadgets, from fitness trackers to virtual reality headsets, but investors are worried about fading product categories such as the personal computer; The most important gadgets of the past, from PCs to smartphones, amplified human productivity but bots such as AMZNs Echo that work in the background are charting a different path by fostering passivity.
Trader: Citi currency strategist Steven Englander says the market may already be starting to reflect the possibility of a fourth round of government bond buying; Mixed VRX: The companys fundamentals havent changed, and its underlying problems such as low revenue and profit growth remain; Mixed PRGO: Upon closer examination shares arent as cheap as they look, and investors continue to raise questions about the companys fundamentals.
ETF Special Report: Exchange traded fund picks from a panel that includes David Cleary of Lazard Asset Management (MXI, ILF, PHB, ANGL), Will McGough of Stadion Money Management (IEMG, QEMM, HDV, IEFA), John Forlines III of JAForlines Global (HYXU, PFF, EFAV, USMV, EWC, EWA), and Fritz Folts, 3EDGE Asset Management (IAU, GDX, EWZ, INXX, QQQ, VBR). Profile: James Hung of the Tocqueville International Value fund takes a contrarian approach and doesn't view relative valuations as a harbinger of success or failure (top 10 holdings: Publicis Groupe, Amano, AFL, SNY, ISS, Samsung Electronics, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, Smiths Group, Aveva Group, Hitachi).
1) Positive ICE: Shares of financial services company, which surprised Wall Street by not bidding on the London Stock Exchange Group, look appealing at 18 times projected 2016 earnings, and could rise by 15%;
2) Positive on VC: Company has become leaner since its bankruptcy and is poised for more growth; it has products in some of the fastest-growing electronics categories, and shares could gain 25% or more this year;
3) Recommendations from the participants of last weeks Sohn conference in New York (short: PXD; long: VRX, MSFT, YUM, ABBV, BKD, QCOM, WBA, Puerto Rico Muni Bonds, 8% of 2035 and 6.2% of 2039).
Small Caps: Positive EPC: Company has an attractive franchise and could be a likely acquisition target; shares remain appealing despite the fact a buyer may not line up anytime soon.
European Trader: Positive LYG: Bank has faced a tough road to recovery, but there are many reasons to believe the worst is behind it, and it offers investors a ray of hope in a sector where returns are hobbled by low interest rates and slow growth.
Asian Trader: The Philippines is in the best shape in decades, and could see GDP growth of 5.9% this year, but whoever wins the country's presidential race will face huge challenges.
Emerging Markets: Investors who missed the spring rally may be tempted by lower prices, but need to be especially wary of countries such as Brazil and Turkey, where political upheaval is a major risk.
Commodities: Droughts, floods, and historically low global inventories have rice-market experts worried that the price of the grain could come close to doubling if harvests around the world continue to disappoint.
Streetwise: Defense stocks such as NOC, LMT, HON, MAS, ROK, HRS, JEC, and TXT are likely to benefit from growth in government spending; Investors have given up on the Feds bond buying as a means of repairing the economy.