Cover story: As AMZN continues to shake up the retail sector, forcing traditional players to adapt or close, “nine retail plays could thrive in a marketplace growing more competitive by the hour” (Positive on COST, WMT, LOW, BID, GGP, PRTY, BBY, HD, JWN).
1) The 2017 Barron’s 500, measuring operating performance based on cash flow and revenue growth, is topped by ABC, ABBV, MAR, SLF, and NVR;
2) Positive on Berkshire Hathaway: Company’s results are driven more by wholly owned businesses such as Burlington Northern and Berkshire Energy than its big equity portfolio.
Tech Trader: Cautious on PI, MRAM: Small chip companies offer genuine innovations and real breakthroughs that could put them at the forefront of new trends, though a bet on their stocks comes with some risk.
Trader: Leuthold Group chief investment officer Doug Ramsey said market breadth is too strong to suggest a top, while Marketfield Asset Management isn’t letting the threat of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump change its outlook; At the recent SALT Conference, “the one thing everyone could agree on was that the turmoil that had engulfed the president is bad for the U.S.”; At the SALT conference, many investors agreed that master limited partnerships are investable again. Profile: Sumanta Biswas and Bernard Horn, managers of the Pear Tree Polaris Foreign Value Small Cap fund, say this is an era of great opportunity for investors in foreign stocks (top 10 holdings: Dragerwerk, WorleyParsons, PrimaMeat Packers, Arcadis, Crest Nicholson Holdings, DFDS, freenet, BBA Aviation, Loomis, Taiwan Union Technology).
Interview: Dana Telsey, chief executive of the Telsey Advisory Group, says retailers are still good investments, though the sector is going through changes in how and what people buy.
1) Jeremy Siegel of the Wharton School says that if Donald Trump is impeached, the Dow could rise by 1,000 points, or 5%, even before vice president Mike Pence takes the helm;
2) Positive on FDC: Shares still trade at attractive below-market levels, and investors should hold onto them;
3) Cautious on Badger Daylighting: A number of questions about the company’s business remain, and investors should avoid shares until they understand what’s going wrong.
European Trader: Positive on VOD: British mobile phone operator seems to be improving its performance after struggling with competition and regulatory pressures.
Asian Trader: “As the U.S. becomes ever more entangled in investigations of its recent presidential election mess, China is quietly easing itself to the forefront of the world stage.”
Emerging Markets: The MSCI index will next month likely confirm that Argentina will rise from a frontier to an emerging market in 2018, attracting new funds and investors.
Commodities: Oil prices are rising ahead of a May OPEC meeting at which the group will revisit last year’s decision to reduce production in order to boost prices.
Streetwise: With 51% of active managers beating their benchmarks this year, up from 31% in 2016, bullish strategists are struggling to persuade investors to keep buying stocks a little longer.