The major U.S. indices extended their move lower this week, albeit at a slower pace than last week’s declines. Improvements in housing and jobs markets helped partially offset weakness caused disappointing corporate earnings and bearish Federal Reserve comments. Interesting, consumer confidence has risen to recent highs, while the same consumers continue to constrain their spending, hurting retail sales in July ahead of the key back-to-school season.
Foreign markets moved largely lower during the week, too. Britain’s FTSE 100 is down 0.9%, Germany’s DAX 30 is down 0.5%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 is down nearly 6%. The eurozone has shown signs of improvement, thanks to Germany’s robust growth, while China’s rising inflation has sparked hopes that its slowdown won’t be as slow as many economists projected. But, with many markets still at their highs, expectations may be too lofty to justify right now.
SEE: How To Profit From Inflation
The SPDR S&P 500 (ARCA:SPY) ETF fell 0.75% lower, as of early trading Friday morning. Currently, the index trades in a price channel with an upper 172.31 bound and lower 160.00 bound. Traders should watch for a break of this upper bound or a move down to the pivot point at 166.26 or 50-day moving average at 165.06. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI has moved off of its highs to 60.53, while the MACD has experienced a bearish crossover.
5 Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Market Vectors Short Municipal Index ETF (SMB)
Market Vectors Short Municipal Index ETF (the Fund) seeks to replicate as closely as possible the price and yield performance of the Barclays Capital AMT-Free Short Continuous Municipal Index (the Index). The Index provides broad exposure to investment-grade municipal bonds with a nominal maturity of 1 to 6 years. To be included in the Index, bonds must be rated investment-grade (Baa3/BBB- or higher) by at least two ratings agencies: Moody’s, S&P, Fitch. If only two of the three agencies rate the security, the lower rating is used to determine index eligibility. If only one of the three agencies rates a security, the rating must be investment grade. They must have an outstanding par value of at least $7 million and be issued as part of a transaction of at least $75 million. The bonds must be fixed rate, have a dated-date within the last five years, and must be at least 1 year but less than 6 years from their maturity date. Its investment advisor is Van Eck Associates Corpor ation. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Todd Rosenbluth]
Two others are iShares Short-Term National AMT-Free Municipal Bond ETF (SUB) and Market Vectors Short Municipal Index ETF (SMB).
The Market Vectors fund, not surprisingly, has more A bond exposure and less AA exposure than the iShares fund. However, both have lower average durations than iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond and thus might appeal to investors concerned about the impact of higher rates.
5 Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Honeywell International Inc.(HON)
Honeywell International Inc. operates as a diversified technology and manufacturing company worldwide. Its Aerospace segment provides turbine propulsion engines, auxiliary power units, environmental control and electric power systems, engine systems and accessories, avionic systems, aircraft lighting, inertial sensors, control products, space products and subsystems, and landing products for aircraft manufacturers, airlines, business and general aviation, military, space, and airport operations, as well as offers management and technical, logistics, aircraft wheels and brakes and repair, and overhaul services. The company?s Automation and Control Solutions segment provides environmental and combustion controls, and sensing controls; security and life safety products and services; scanning and mobility products; process automation products and solutions; and building solutions and services for homes, buildings, and industrial facilities. Its Specialty Materials segment prov ides resins and chemicals; hydrofluoric acid; fluorocarbons; fluorine specialties; nuclear services; performance chemicals; chemical processing sealants; fibers and composites; specialty films and additives; imaging and electronic chemicals; semiconductor materials and services; catalysts, adsorbents, and specialties; and renewable fuels and chemicals. It offers these products for refining, petrochemical, automotive, healthcare, agricultural, packaging, refrigeration, appliance, housing, semiconductor, wax, and adhesives segments. This segment also provides process technology and equipment for the petroleum refining, and petrochemical and gas processing industries. The company?s Transportation Systems segment provides charge-air systems; thermal systems; filters, spark plugs, electronic components, and car care products; and brake hard parts and other friction materials for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The company was founded in 1920 and is headquartered in Morri s Township, New Jersey.
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
I’m talking about Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON). This is one of those rare big-cap tech leaders that manages to be both widely diversified and highly focused.
- [By Wallace Witkowski]
Heavyweights in the S&P 500 such as Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) , Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) , AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) , Honeywell Corp. (HON) , Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) , DuPont (DD) , Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) , Monsanto Co. (MON) , and Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) all saw a 20% or more jump in the number of short-interest positions in the past two weeks alone, according to FactSet data.
5 Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Trinity Industries Inc.(TRN)
Trinity Industries, Inc. provides products and services to the industrial, energy, transportation, and construction sectors primarily in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Sweden. The company?s Rail Group manufactures and sells railcars, including auto carrier, box, gondola, hopper, intermodal, specialty, and tank cars; and railcar components, such as couplers and axles. This group also offers repair and coating services. It primarily serves railroads, leasing companies, and industrial shippers of various products. Trinity Industries? Railcar Leasing and Management Services group leases tank cars and freight cars to industrial shippers and railroads operating in petroleum, chemical, agricultural, and energy industries with a fleet of 54,595 owned or leased railcars; provides management and administrative services; and manages railcar fleets on behalf of third parties. The company?s Construction Products group produces ready mix concret e; produces and distributes construction aggregates, including crushed stone, sand and gravel, asphalt rock, and specialty sands and gravel; manufactures highway products and other steel products for infrastructure related projects; supplies ready mix concrete; and provides hot-dip galvanizing services for fabricated steel materials. It primarily serves contractors and subcontractors in the construction and foundation industry. Trinity Industries? Inland Barge group manufactures inland barges; and fiberglass reinforced lift covers. It serves commercial marine transportation companies. The company?s Energy Equipment group manufactures structural wind towers, tank containers, and tank heads for pressure vessels; fertilizer containers; and tank heads for non-pressure vessels, LPG tanks, and utility, traffic, and lighting structures. It serves turbine producers, as well as industrial plants, utilities, residences, and small businesses. The company was founded in 1933 and is he adq uartered in Dallas, Texas.
- [By Holly LaFon]
Another area that is intriguing to us is the North American energy sector which looks to have a number of interesting catalysts currently. While the energy sector is at present only a modest overweight in the portfolios, we have been encouraged by several trends taking place for a number of years. These positive developments are also having an impact that goes far beyond the energy sector itself. Many believe that the U.S. will become energy independent and possibly a net exporter of natural gas and oil (currently restricted by law) in the next decade. This opinion is based primarily on the development of new drilling techniques (i.e. horizontal drilling, and high pressure fracking) that have enabled companies to access oil and natural gas reserves in shale formations that were previously not economically viable. The ability to tap into this acreage is a game-changer in our view and is already having a tremendous impact on the economy. Employment rates in these mostly rura l areas surrounding the shale basins are very high and companies thus find hiring extremely competitive. Strong labor markets tend to create strong local economies. Oil States International (OIS) has been able to capitalize on this trend by providing housing and other services to oil service workers that are in demand in the area. CST Brands (CST) operates gas stations in Texas, but it is increasingly looking to broaden its product offering beyond fuel. Rail companies like Union Pacific (UNP), Canadian Pacific (CP), Kansas City Southern (KSU) and Genesee and Wyoming (GWR) have also benefited substantially. Given that shale areas are rural and often lacking infrastructure, substantial investment must be made to support drilling and production activities. Without pipelines in place, railroads have been the primary takeaway mechanism for moving production to the various clusters of refining capacity around the United States. In order to serve this demand, massive investment in railcars has been nee
- [By Aaron Levitt]
Finally, any new tank-car regulation will benefit those firms that actually build and supply all those new cars. So our last pick in the wide world of railroad stocks is Trinity Industries (TRN). The firm already has seen its tank-car order backlog surge so much — currently sitting at 40,000 cars — that it has shifted much of its capacity at its wind turbine tower business towards the manufacture of rail cars.
5 Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Swift Energy Company(SFY)
Swift Energy Company engages in acquiring, exploring, developing, and operating oil and natural gas properties. It focuses on inland waters and onshore oil and natural gas reserves in Louisiana and Texas. As of December 31, 2010, the company had estimated proved reserves of 132.8 million barrels of oil equivalent. Swift Energy Company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
- [By Robert Rapier]
Q: Could you offer any insight/comment on Swift Energy, which seems to be moving towards oil from natgas?
Swift Energy (NYSE: SFY) is an oil and gas producer with operations primarily in Texas and Louisiana. Like Halcon, the company’s share price has been battered over the past two years, down 61 percent, but unlike Halcon, Swift seemed to turn a corner in the second half of 2013. In comparing the two, Swift is in better shape financially (less leveraged and a better cash flow position) and has less downside risk. Swift has done a good job of growing both oil and gas reserves, as well as production in the Eagle Ford.
Swift’s production has grown while the share price has languished. Source: Swift Presentation
- [By Tim Melvin]
Right now I know that silver miners like Pan American Silver (PAAS) and Coeur Mining (CDE) are very cheap on an asset basis. I know that oil and gas producers like Swift Energy (SFY) and WPX Energy (WPX) are priced as if no one will ever use the stuff again. I know that small banks like Cape Bancorp (CBNJ) and Essa Bancorp (ESSA) are crazy-cheap — and if the world does not end, those stocks will be a lot higher in a few years.
- [By Monica Wolfe]
Swift Energy Company (SFY)
During the past week CEO and Chairman of Swift Energy Company, Terry Swift, reported the first insider transaction reported in the company since February.
5 Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Legg Mason Inc (LM)
Legg Mason, Inc. (Legg Mason), incorporated in 1981, is a global asset management company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides investment management and related services to institutional and individual clients, company-sponsored mutual funds and other pooled investment vehicles. It offers these products and services directly and through various financial intermediaries. The Company provides its asset management services through a number of asset managers, each of which generally markets its products and services under its own brand name and, in many cases, distributes retail products and services through a centralized retail distribution network. Its investment advisory services include discretionary and non-discretionary management of separate investment accounts in a number of investment styles for institutional and individual investors. Legg Mason’s investment products include mutual funds ranging from money market and other liquidity products to fixed inc ome and equity funds managed in a variety of investment styles, other domestic and offshore funds offered to both retail and institutional investors and funds-of-hedge funds. As of March 31, 2012, assets under management were $643.3 billion. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012 (fiscal 2012), the Company sold Bartlett & Co., a Cincinnati-based wealth manager.
The Company conducts its business primarily through 12 asset managers. Its asset managers are individual businesses, each of which generally focuses on a portion of the asset management industry in terms of the types of assets managed (primarily equity or fixed income), the types of products and services offered, the investment styles utilized, the distribution channels used, and the types and geographic locations of its clients. The Company’s asset managers provide a range of separate account investment management services to institutional clients, including pension and other retirement plans, corporations, insurance companies, ! endowments and foundations and governments, and to high-net-worth individuals and families. In addition, its asset managers also sponsor and manage various groups of the United States mutual funds, including the Legg Mason Funds, The Royce Funds and the Western Asset Funds, funds-of-hedge funds and a number of equity, fixed income, liquidity and balanced funds that are domiciled and distributed in countries worldwide, and provide investment advisory services to a number of retail separately managed account programs. Western Asset Management Company is a global fixed income asset manager for institutional clients. Western Asset’s operations include investment operations in New York City, the United Kingdom, Japan, Brazil, Australia and Singapore. Western Asset offers a range of products spanning the yield curve and encompassing the bond markets, including a suite of limited duration and core products, emerging market and high yield portfolios, municipal portfolios and a varie ty of sector-oriented and global products. Among the services Western Asset provides are management of separate accounts and management of mutual funds, closed-end funds, international funds and other structured investment products.
ClearBridge Advisors is an equity asset management firm. ClearBridge Advisors provides asset management services to 29 of the equity funds (including balanced funds and closed-end funds) in the Legg Mason Funds, to retail separately managed account programs, to certain of its international funds and, primarily through separate accounts, to institutional clients. ClearBridge also sub-advises domestic mutual funds that are sponsored by third parties. Royce & Associates is investment advisor to all of The Royce Funds and to certain of the Company’s international funds. In addition, Royce & Associates manages other pooled and separate accounts, primarily institutional. Brandywine Global Investment Management manages fixed income, inclu ding global and international fixed income, and equity portf! olios for! institutional and, through wrap accounts, high-net-worth individual clients.
Batterymarch Financial Management manages the United States, international and emerging markets equity portfolios for institutional clients. Permal Group Ltd. is a global funds-of-hedge funds management firm. With a headquarters in London and other offices in New York City, Boston, Dubai, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Nassau, Permal manages products, which include both directional and absolute return strategies, and are available through multi-manager and single manager funds, separately managed accounts and structured products sponsored by a number of financial institutions. Legg Mason Capital Management is an equity asset management business that manages both institutional separate accounts and mutual funds. Legg Mason Capital Management manages 12 Legg Mason Funds, and also sub-advises the mutual fund managed by the joint venture described below and investment products spon sored by its other subsidiaries, including certain of the Company’s international funds.
Legg Mason Investment Counsel & Trust Company, National Association is a national banking association with authority to exercise trust powers. Legg Mason Investment Counsel & Trust Company provides services as a trustee for trusts established by its individual and employee benefit plan clients and manages fixed income and equity assets. Legg Mason Investment Counsel, LLC, a subsidiary of Legg Mason Investment Counsel & Trust, manages equity, fixed income and balanced portfolios for high-net-worth individual and institutional clients and a number of its mutual funds. Legg Mason Investment Counsel operates out of offices in New York City, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Easton, Maryland, and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Esemplia Emerging Markets is an emerging markets equities investment manager. Esemplia offers a range of portfolio management strategies, including core long-only and alpha-extension portfolios, to institutional investors worl! dwide, in! cluding pension funds and sovereign wealth funds.
Private Capital Management manages equity assets for high-net-worth individuals and families, institutions, endowments and foundations in separate accounts and through limited partnerships. Legg Mason’s business in Poland engages in portfolio management, servicing and distribution of both separate account management services and local funds in Poland. The firm provides portfolio management services primarily for equity assets to institutions, including corporate pension plans and insurance companies, and, through funds distributed through banks and insurance companies, individual investors. Legg Mason Australian Equities is an Australian asset management business that offers Australian equity products, Australian property trusts and asset allocation products. As of March 31, 2012, Legg Mason Australian Equities managed assets with a value of $1billion.
United States Mutual Funds
The Com pany’s United States mutual funds business primarily consists of three groups of mutual and closed-end funds, the Legg Mason Funds, The Royce Funds and the Western Asset Funds. The Legg Mason Funds invest in a range of domestic and international equity and fixed income securities. The Royce Funds invest primarily in smaller-cap company stocks using a value investment approach. The Western Asset Funds invest primarily in fixed income securities. The Legg Mason Funds consist of 113 mutual funds and 27 closed-end funds in the United States, almost all of which are sub-advised by its subsidiary asset managers. The mutual funds and closed-end funds within the Legg Mason Funds include 63 equity funds (including balanced funds) that invest in a spectrum of equity securities. The fixed income and liquidity mutual funds and closed-end funds within the Legg Mason Funds include 77 funds. As of March 31, 2012 , the Legg Mason Funds included $114.7 billion in assets, respectively, in t heir mutual funds and closed-end funds, of which approximate! ly 30% an! d 27%, respectively, were equity assets, approximately 24% and 18%, respectively, were fixed income assets and approximately 46% and 55%, respectively, were liquidity assets.
The Royce Funds consist of 32 mutual funds and three closed-end funds, most of which invest primarily in smaller-cap company stocks. The Royce Funds are distributed through non-affiliated fund supermarkets, its centralized funds distribution operations, non-affiliated wrap programs, and direct distribution. In addition, two of the portfolios in The Royce Funds are distributed only through insurance companies. The Company’s mutual funds business also includes the Western Asset Funds, a family of nine mutual funds and two closed-end funds. The mutual funds are marketed primarily to institutional investors and retirement plans through the Company’s institutional funds marketing group. Western Asset Management Company manages these funds. The funds primarily invest in fixed income securitie s.
The Company, outside the United States, manages, supports and distributes a number of funds across an array of global fixed income, liquidity and equity investment strategies. Its international funds include a range of cross border funds that are domiciled in Ireland and Luxembourg and are sold in a number of countries across Asia, Europe and Latin America. The Company’s international funds also include local fund ranges that are available for distribution in the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Poland, Hong Kong and Canada. All of its international funds are distributed and serviced by Legg Mason’s global distribution group. Its international funds include equity, fixed income, liquidity and balanced funds that are primarily managed or sub-advised by Batterymarch Financial Management, Brandywine Global, ClearBridge, Esemplia, Legg Mason Capital Management, Private Capital Management, Royce & Associates, Western Asset Management and its global asset allocation team. In a! ggregate,! the Company sponsors and manages more than 220 of these international funds.
Retail Separately Managed Account Programs
The Company is a provider of asset management services to retail separately managed account programs, commonly known as managed account or wrap programs. These programs typically allow securities brokers or other financial intermediaries to offer their clients the opportunity to choose from a number of asset management services. It provides investment management services to a number of retail separately managed account programs sponsored by a number of financial institutions.
The Company’s centralized global distribution group distributes and supports its United States and international funds and retail separately managed account program business. The United States-based operations of the Company’s global distribution group support and distribute the Legg Mason Funds, The Royce Funds and the Western Asset Funds, and include its mutual fund wholesalers and its institutional funds marketing group. The Company’s mutual fund wholesalers distribute the Legg Mason Funds through a number of third-party distributors. The Company’s institutional funds marketing group distributes institutional share classes of the Legg Mason Funds and the Western Asset Funds to institutional clients and also distributes variable annuity sub-advisory services provided by its asset managers to insurance companies. Its institutional liquidity funds are primarily distributed by Western Asset’s distributors. In addition to its centralized funds distribution group, Royce & Associates’ distributors also distribute The Royce Funds. In addition to distributing funds, the wholesalers in the Company’s global distribution operations also support its retail separately managed account program services. These services are provided through programs sponsored by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s re tail business, as well as other financial institutions.
! The international distributors within the Company’s global distribution group offer its investment management services to individual and institutional investors across Asia, Europe and the Americas. These distributors operate out of distribution offices in 18 cities in 14 countries and are the sole distributors of its cross border funds globally and its international local funds in their respective countries. Legg Mason Investments is responsible for the distribution and servicing of cross border and local fund ranges across Europe, the Americas and Asia. Legg Mason Investments has offices in locations including London, Paris, Milan, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Miami, Santiago and New York. In addition to Legg Mason Investments, the Company’s global distribution group includes separate distribution operations in Australia, Canada and Japan. In Australia, its distribution operations distribute local and cross border pooled investment vehicles sub-advised by the Company’s asset managers primarily to retail investors, pension plans, fund-of-funds managers, insurance companies and government funds/agencies. In Canada, its distribution operations distribute Legg Mason-managed products primarily to pension plans, endowments, foundations, banks and mutual fund companies and separately managed account programs. In Japan, the Company’s distribution operations distribute domestic investment funds, cross border funds and institutional separate accounts primarily to the retail market, which includes retail banks, private banks, asset managers, funds platforms and insurance companies.
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
So it’s no surprise that on Thursday, none other than Bill Miller, the Chairman and CEO of Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM) subsidiary LMM, told Bloomberg Television that “Bitcoin is like making a venture bet. The potential return is huge.”
- [By MONEYMORNING]
Take a look at these other Nelson Peltz activist investing success stories:
H.J. Heinz: When Peltz got involved with Heinz, the stock had been slumping. He encouraged management to cut costs, buy back shares, and refocus the company on its core brands. By the time Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) bought it last year for $23 billion, the stock had shot up 75%. “Management did a great job executing the turnaround, but Peltz was the catalyst for a lot of the change,” John Sini, a portfolio manager at Douglas C. Lane & Associates Inc., told Bloomberg News last year. “We are looking at this price now and saying, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.'” Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE: IR): Peltz took an interest in this manufacturer of industrial and commercial goods back in mid-2012; the stock is up 77% since then. Among the moves Peltz influenced was a spinoff of IR’s security division, a $2 billion share repurchase program, and a 31% increase in the dividend. Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM): Peltz owns 10% and has a seat on the board of the once high-flying financial firm that fell on hard times after the departure in 2008 of founder Raymond “Chip” Mason. Peltz helped get Legg Mason back on track by playing a leading role in selecting current Chief Executive Officer Joseph A. Sullivan, who assumed the top post in February 2013. The change in leadership worked; since December 2012, LM is up 75%.
This “Peltzing” is a phenomenon of particular interest now that he has a new top holding…
- [By Zacks]
Currently, shares of T. Rowe Price carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Among other investment managers, Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ) is scheduled to report December quarter end results on Jan 30, Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM) on Jan 31 and Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AMP) on Feb 4.
- [By Jason Zweig]
As he likes to say, “If the choice is between being first and being best, being first is better.” Mr. LeBaron founded Batterymarch Financial Management(LM) in Boston in 1969, investing mainly in small-company stocks, an opportunity almost nobody else was yet interested in. Batterymarch also pioneered quantitative investing, which uses statistical analysis–not human judgment–to pick stocks. In the 1970s, he says, every employee at the firm had three computers: “We had 90 machines when many firms didn’t have one.”