Cover story: Focuses on the quote from the BlackRock annual letter, “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.” Notes growing belief backed by research that investors and companies who take into account social and environmental governance generally outperform the market over the longer term and reduce short term risks.
1. Does sustainable investing (ESG) lead to lower returns? Cites 2 experts in the field one taking each side of the position.
2. Does an ESG roundtable with various CEOs and COIs who explore social and environmental governance
3. Trade wars: Investors should prepare. Stock market doesn't appear to have priced in the potential impact of a trade war. Positive mentions on: NextEra Energy (NEE), Xcel Energy (XEL), and American Electric Power (AEP), General Mills (GIS), Kroger (KR), Andeavor (ANDV), Valero (VLO)
4. Fed expected to approve big bank dividend increases and buyback plans this week. Expected to return avg of 100% of earnings to shareholders over next 12-months
5. Investing interviews David King who runs Columbia Flexible Capital Income Fund. Sees some opportunity in equities and convertible bonds. Positive on Six Flags Entertainment (SIX) and Microsoft (MSFT) Supports GE being kicked from Dow but should have been replaced by Facebook (FB)or another tech company, not Walgreens (WBA). Also thinks Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), AbbVie (ABBV), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Nvidia (NVDA), and Salesforce.com (CRM) should all be considered for the Dow. Cautious On: MD, Mednax shares trade near the valuation at which competitor Envision (EVHC) agreed to be bought, and any buyer would inherit its disputes The amount of money flowing into sustainable mutual and exchange-traded funds every month has tripled since Donald Trump was elected Explores different styles of sustainable investing. Barron's names the 20 most influential people in ESG investing. Names Jeremy Grantham #7, comments on his ideas of the future. Panelists on Impact Investing Summit see big fund flows into ESG strategies, driven by millennials and women who will make up 75% of workforce by 2025.
The Trader: Notes that US may be winning the trade war, or at least has the upper hand as many of China's options would hurt them at home too much.
International trader: Positive on publicly traded venture-capital firm Draper Esprit (GROW.UK) as a play on early-stage, high-tech growth companies.
Commodities: Trade war between US and China has hurt corn and soybeans, but dont expect long term impact to priced
Streetwise: Notes raft of CEOs speaking out about separating child from their illegal parents, but notes that most will only speak out about political things that will impact their bottom line