Cover story: Barron’s list of the 100 Most Sustainable Companies is topped by CSCO, CRM, BBY, INTU, and HPQ, based on research produced by Calvert Research and Management that rated companies on their demonstrated responsibility in five key stakeholder categories: shareholders, employees, customers, planet, and community.
Features: 1) Positive on GM: Automaker is a “story stock,” trading on distant expectations, not current income; A number of initiatives, such as its acquisition of Cruise Automation, have helped it gain ground in the self-driving vehicle sector, and shares are moving up; 2) Harry Markowitz, Nobel Prize winner and father of modern portfolio theory, has invested all his assets in the stock market, betting that destruction from last year’s hurricanes will boost reconstruction industries; 3) Positive on DVMT: “Concerns about Michael Dell’s plans for VMW, which is controlled by his privately held Dell Technologies, have created an opportunity in shares of the Dell tracking stock for VMware.”
Tech Trader: Investors seem unconcerned about the risks facing large-cap tech companies such as AAPL and FB, and considering their challenges—slow iPhone X sales at Apple and a drop in users at Facebook—their shares seem to have a “teflon sheen.”
Trader: After Friday’s drop, the S&P 500 still trades at 17.7 times forward earnings, meaning a further decrease “would reset the base for equities,” according to Jason Pride of Glenmede—a healthy pullback; + DHR: Company may not be fast-growing, but it has consistency in increasing sales, cutting costs, and improving efficiency, making it a reliable pick; Some investors don’t think Berkshire Hathaway, AMZN, and JPM’s healthcare initiative will succeed, and that the market response, which punished traditional providers, was an overreaction.
Profile: John Mowrey, co-manager of the AllianzGI NFJ Mid-Cap Value fund, seeks relative value instead of the cheapest or highest-yielding stocks (top 10 holdings: DHI, LUV, THO, SPR, EQM, VLO, DFS, NSC, MPC, CMA).
Interview: Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners talks about the perils facing municipal bonds, and is bullish about international stocks and active management.
Follow-Up: Three pundits whose predictions for the S&P 500 in 2018 were the highest and still haven’t been surpassed by the market remain upbeat despite recent rapid market gains.
European Trader: Positive on Beazley: The Data Protection Regulation soon to take effect in the European Union should boost demand for shares of the company, which offers cyberattack insurance.
Asian Trader: Positive on Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology: The world’s largest maker of surveillance cameras, which also makes software and manages back-end storage, could benefit if Donald Trump is able to build his Mexican-border wall.
Emerging Markets: The two clear beneficiaries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership are Vietnam and Malaysia, and the pact also marks an ambitious shift for Japan.
Commodities: “As palladium prices soar to new records, platinum deserves to get a closer look from investors.”
Up and Down Wall Street: With risk roaring back, “the fear is that the Fed could overdo it” on rate hikes this year, “pushing up short-term interest rates and roiling both the bond and stock markets further.”
Streetwise: Columnist Randall Stevenson disputes TSLA’s claim that chief Elon Musk’s new 10-year compensation package aligns his interest with that of shareholders for the long term.