As the S&P 500 (SPY) is trading just shy of its all-time nominal high, there are still many headwinds facing the U.S. equity market that have the potential to derail the rally. A few potential risks to the rally are highlighted in the rest of the article. Many view that the current bull market in U.S. equities is being at least partly fueled by the Fed’s quantitative easing and the accompanying low rate environment, as it pushes all of types of investors out on the risk curve and eventually into equities– simply to earn positive real returns. Additionally, unemployment remains rather high, especially given the massive amounts of easing that the Fed has already implemented. Also, the market is trading at a rather rich P/E multiple. The three risks to the market discussed in this article provide reasoning as to the problems that the rally faces and why it may be a good idea to "sell in May and go away".
1: Persistent Unemployment
Top European Stocks To Own For 2014: STMicroelectronics N.V.(STM)
STMicroelectronics N.V., an independent semiconductor company, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of semiconductor integrated circuits and discrete devices. Its products include discrete and standard commodity components, application-specific integrated circuits, custom devices and semi-custom devices, and application-specific standard products for analog, digital, and mixed-signal applications. The company also offers subsystems and modules for the telecommunications, automotive, and industrial markets comprising mobile phone accessories, battery chargers, ISDN power supplies, and in-vehicle equipment for electronic toll payment, as well as provides Smartcard products. Its products are used in various microelectronic applications consisting of automotive products, computer peripherals, telecommunications systems, consumer products, industrial automation, and control systems. The company sells its products through distributors and ret ailers. STMicroelectronics N.V. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- [By Vanina Egea]
Reed Elsevier NV (ENL) is a diversified publisher and information provider. It works on a wide range of market segments that include scientific, technical and medical (STM); legal; risks solutions and business information and exhibitions. The key of the company’s growth, however, lies almost exclusively in two brands: Elsevier and LexisNexis.
- [By Tyler Laundon]
Analog Devices (ADI) is one of the largest semiconductor companies in the motion-sensing space, with a market cap of $15.87 billion. STM Electronics (STM) is a slightly smaller manufacturer; its market cap is $7.6 billion.
Top European Stocks To Own For 2014: British American Tobacco Industries p.l.c.(BTI)
British American Tobacco p.l.c., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of tobacco products. The company offers cigars, cigarettes, smokeless snus, roll-your-own, and pipe tobacco products under the Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Vogue, Viceroy, Kool, Rothmans, Peter Stuyvesant, Benson & Hedges, and State Express 555 brand names. It has operations in the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, eastern and western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom. British American Tobacco p.l.c. operates independently of Remgro Ltd. as of November 03, 2008.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Given the size of a potential acquisition of Lorillard would be quite large, we question how a bid from [Reynolds American] would be financed. Therefore, we think a more likely deal could be a merger between [Lorillard] and [Reynolds American] rather than an acquisition. Also, there has been speculation that British American Tobacco (BTI), which currently owns ~42% of [Reynolds American’s] stock, could take a majority stake in [Reynolds American] after the standstill ends in July 2014. While we believe the most likely scenario is that [British American Tobacco] and [Reynolds American] could reach a strategic partnership to market/sell e-cigs globally, we wouldn’t rule out [British American Tobacco] taking a majority stake in [Reynolds American]. Furthermore, if this occurs, [British American Tobacco] could help finance a potential acquisition of [Lorillard].
- [By Ben Levisohn]
How bad has performance of Phillip Morris been? Its shares have dropped 1.9% during the past 12 months, while American-focused Altria Group (MO) has gained 15%. British American Tobacco (BTI) has gained 3%, Reynolds American (RAI) has advanced 14%, and Lorillard (LO) has jumped 26%.
- [By Editor , Dividend Growth Investor]
The company’s largest competitors include British American Tobacco (BTI), Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY) and Japan Tobacco.
Earnings per share have doubled over the preceding 7 years to $5.17 in 2012. The company expects earnings to reach $5.37-$5.42 per share in 2013, followed by a 6-8% increase in 2014. Despite the near-term slowdown in earnings per share, the company is committed to growing currency neutral EPS by 10-12% per year after 2015.
- [By Fede Zaldua]
Imperial trades cheaply and pays a great, sustainable and for-ever-growing 4.5% cash dividend yield. The company’s 2014 10.4 times P/E multiple represents a 40% discount to what most European consumer staples sell for. Besides, the owner of brands such as Davidoff and Gauloises, trades at a much more conservative level than its direct tobacco peers. Philip Morris International (PM) and British American Tobacco (BTI) sell for 2014 15 and 14.2 times earnings, respectively.
Top European Stocks To Own For 2014: TotalFinaElf S.A.(TOT)
TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemicals. The Upstream segment engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. It also involves in the transportation, trade, and marketing of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as in LNG re-gasification and natural gas storage operations. In addition, this segment engages in the shipping and trade of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); power generation from gas-fired power plants, nuclear, or renewable energies; production, trade, and marketing of coal, as well as in solar power systems and technology operations. As of December 31, 2010, it had combined proved reserves of 10,695 Mboe of oil and gas. The Downstream segment involves in refining, marketing, trading, and shipping crude oil and petroleum products. It also produces a range of specialty products, s uch as lubricants, LPG, jet fuel, special fluids, bitumen, marine fuels, and petrochemical feedstock. This segment holds interests in 24 refineries located in Europe, the United States, the French West Indies, Africa, and China, as well as operates a network of 17,490 service stations. The Chemicals segment produces base chemicals, including petrochemicals and fertilizers, as well as engages in rubber processing, resins, adhesives, and electroplating activities. TOTAL S.A. was founded in 1924 and is based in Paris, France.
- [By Charles Sizemore]
European Dividend Stocks to Buy: Total SA (TOT)
Dividend Yield: 5.1%
Next on the list is French oil major Total SA (TOT). Total raised some eyebrows last month as discussions progressed to develop Russia’s massive shale fields in partnership with Lukoil (LUKOY). It appears that, despite the ongoing threat of sanctions from the United States, business is going on as usual in the real world.
- [By Jayson Derrick]
Total (NYSE: TOT) is considering a sale of its TotalGAz liquefied petroleum gas marketing unit for approximately $1.04 billion. Shares lost 0.82 percent, closing at $64.39.
Top European Stocks To Own For 2014: Fresenius Medical Care Corporation (FMS)
Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA, a dialysis company, provides products and services for patients with chronic kidney diseases. As of May 12, 2011, it provided dialysis care services to 216,942 patients through its network of 2,769 dialysis clinics primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific, and Africa. The company also develops and manufactures various dialysis products, including hemodialysis machines, dialyzers, hemofilters, dialysis fluid filters, tubing systems, fistula needles, dialysis related equipment, acute hemodialysis machines, plasma filters, acute tubing systems and cassettes, catheters, and related disposable products for chronic hemodialysis, acute therapy, home therapy, and therapeutic apheresis, as well as dialysis drugs. In addition, it provides laboratory services. Fresenius Medical sells its products through distributors. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Bad Homburg, Germany.
- [By Louie Grint]
First, Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS ) is the No. 1 global provider of dialysis equipment. It enjoys leading market share of almost 33% in its home country.
- [By John Udovich]
Small cap dialysis stock Rockwell Medical Inc (NASDAQ: RMTI) looks set to decline when the market opens after Brean Capital initiated coverage with a sell rating and a price target of $4.00, meaning it might be time to take a closer look at what is going on with the stock along with the performance of large cap dialysis stocks DaVita Healthcare Partners (NYSE: DVA) and Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) along with small cap dialysis stocks NxStage Medical, Inc (NASDAQ: NXTM).
Top European Stocks To Own For 2014: BP p.l.c.(BP)
BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services, and petrochemicals products. Its Exploration and Production segment engages in the oil and natural gas exploration, field development, and production; midstream transportation, and storage and processing; and marketing and trading of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), and power and natural gas liquids (NGL). This segment has exploration and production activities in Angola, Azerbaijan, Canada, Egypt, Norway, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as in Asia, Australasia, South America, North Africa, and the Middle East. This segment also owns and manages crude oil and natural gas pipelines; processing facilities and export terminals; and LNG processing and transportation, as well as NGL extraction facilities. BP p.l.c. has interests in the Trans-Alaska pipeline system, the Forties pipeline system, the Central Area transmission sys tem pipeline, the South Caucasus Pipeline, and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, as well as in LNG plants located in Trinidad, Indonesia, and Australia. The company?s Refining and Marketing segment involves in the supply and trading, refining, manufacturing, marketing, and transportation of crude oil, petroleum, and petrochemicals products and related services to wholesale and retail customers primarily under the BP, Castrol, ARCO, and Aral brands. Its Other Businesses and Corporate segment produces and markets rolled aluminum products, as well as generates energy through wind, solar, biofuels, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage sources; and engages in shipping activities. The company was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) CEO John Watson recently told a Houston audience that crude oil running $100 per barrel is becoming the new standard in the oil and gas industry — and that consumers will pay more than they used to. Merrill Lynch just recently upgraded shares of BP PLC (NYSE: BP) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) with Buy ratings. They were targeting close to 20% expected total returns in their calls, when you include dividends. These two Buy ratings would almost certainly not be in place if they thought oil would go to $75 and stay there.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed its restrictions on BP PLC (NYSE: BP), allowing the company once again to conduct business with the federal government and giving the company the right once more to bid on leases in the Gulf of Mexico. At Wednesday’s lease sale of nearly 40 million acres, BP got back in the game in a big way.
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
Of course, a roster of A-list clients helps a great deal. Some of Open Text’s stable of blue chip clients include The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), BP plc (NYSE: BP), and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V).
- [By Paul Ausick]
The first of the new plants to come online is being built by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE: KMP) and is scheduled to begin processing crude for BP plc (NYSE: BP) in July. The initial processing capacity of the so-called “splitter” plant is 100,000 barrels a day, but it could be expanded relatively easily and cheaply if demand grows.
Top European Stocks To Own For 2014: Aegon NV(AEG)
AEGON N.V. provides life insurance, pensions, and asset management products and services worldwide. The company?s life insurance products include traditional, term, universal, whole, and other life insurance products sold as part of defined benefit pension plans, endowment policies, post-retirement annuity products, and group risk products; supplemental health insurance products comprise accidental death, other injury, critical illness, hospital indemnity, medicare supplement, and student health; specialty lines consists of travel, membership, and creditor products; and long term care insurance products for policyholders who require care due to a chronic illness or cognitive impairment. It also offers a range of savings and retirement products and services, including mutual funds, and fixed and variable annuities, savings accounts and investment contracts, segregated funds, guaranteed investment accounts, and single premium immediate annuities, as well as investment advice to individuals. In addition, the company offers employer solutions and pensions, such as retirement plans, pension plans, and pension-related products and services; investment products, including onshore and offshore bonds, and trusts; reinsurance products and solutions to life insurance and financial services companies; general insurance products comprising house, car, and fire insurance; and asset management products and services, including general account assets, unit-linked funds, and third party activities. AEGON N.V. markets its products through independent and career agents, financial planners, registered representatives, independent marketing organizations, banks, broker-dealers, benefit consulting firms, wirehouses, affinity groups, institutional partners, independent managing general agencies, and specialized financial advisors, as well as through online, direct, and worksite marketing. The company was founded in 1900 and is headquartered in The Hague, the Netherl ands.
- [By Will Ashworth]
Assuming it delivers on its outlook for 2014, its current free cash flow yield is a very enticing 20%. This isn’t a growth stock, but its brands still possess hidden value. As cheap stocks go, it’s very attractive.
Cheap Stocks to Buy: Aegon (AEG)
It’s not often that you can buy a $19 billion market cap for under 10 bucks. Aegon’s a Dutch insurance company that’s had a rough ride over the past few years, and its stock’s suffered as a result. In the late ’90s AEG stock traded around $60 — it hasn’t been anywhere close since. However, it’s got some good assets that should bear fruit in the years to come. Aegon has 12,000 employees in the Americas doing business primarily under the Transamerica brand, which has been a part of AEG since 1999.
Top European Stocks To Own For 2014: Aercap Holdings N.V. (AER)
AerCap Holdings N.V., through its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated aviation company worldwide. It engages in leasing and trading aircraft and engines; and selling parts. The company also provides aircraft management services, as well as aircraft and limited engine MRO services, and aircraft disassembly services through its repair stations. In addition, it offers aircraft services, including remarketing aircraft; collecting rental and maintenance payments, monitoring aircraft maintenance, monitoring and enforcing contract compliance, and accepting delivery and redelivery of aircraft; conducting ongoing lessee financial performance reviews; inspecting the leased aircraft; coordinating technical modifications to aircraft to meet new lessee requirements; conducting restructurings negotiations in connection with lease defaults; repossessing aircraft; arranging and monitoring insurance coverage; registering and de-registering aircraft; arranging for aircraft and aircraft engine valuations; and providing market research. The company?s management services include leasing and remarketing, cash management and treasury, technical advisory, and accounting and administrative services. As of March 31, 2011, it owned 272 aircraft and 95 engines, which it leased under operating leases to 118 lessees in 53 countries. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Schiphol, the Netherlands.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Finally. Finally American International Group (AIG) has disposed of its ILFC unit by selling it to AerCap Holdings (AER).
The Wall Street Journal has the details on the deal:
- [By Tess Stynes]
AIG confirmed it will sell its stake in International Lease Finance Corp to aircraft-leasing company AerCap Holdings N.V(AER). for $5.4 billion in cash and stock.
Top European Stocks To Own For 2014: Telefonica SA(TEF)
Telefonica, S.A. provides fixed and mobile telephony services primarily in Spain, rest of Europe, and Latin America. Its fixed telecommunication services include PSTN lines; ISDN accesses; public telephone; local, domestic, and international long distance and fixed-to-mobile communications; corporate communications; video telephony; supplementary and business-oriented value-added services; network services; leasing and sale of handset equipment; and telephony information services. The company?s Internet and broadband multimedia services comprise Internet service provider service; portal and network services; retail and wholesale broadband access; narrowband switched access to Internet; naked ADSL, a broadband connection; residential-oriented value-added services; companies-oriented value-added services; television services, such as IPTV, cable television, and satellite television; and Fiber to the Home, a service for high speed Internet access and digital video recording. Its data and business-solutions services principally include leased lines; virtual private network services; fiber optics services; the provision of hosting and application; outsourcing and consultancy services; desktop services; and system integration and professional services. The company?s wholesale services for telecommunication operators primarily comprise domestic interconnection services; international wholesale services; leased lines for other operators? network deployment; local loop leasing under the unbundled local loop regulation framework; and bit stream services. It also offers various mobile and related services and products that include mobile voice services, value added services, mobile data and Internet services, wholesale services, corporate services, roaming, fixed wireless, and trunking and paging services. The company has a strategic alliance with China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited. Telefonica, S.A. was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Madrid, Spai n.
- [By Charles Sizemore]
European Dividend Stocks to Buy: Telefonica (TEF)
Dividend Yield: 6%
And finally, we get to one of my favorite long-term holdings, Spanish telecom giant Telefonica (TEF).
- [By LarryZ6]
With the recent acquisition, financed by the $ 130 billion sale of Verizon Wireless (VZ) in the US, Vodafone adds 1.9 million clients to its customer base in Spain totaling 17.2 million, second to Teléfonica (TEF), which counts 24.9 million, and ahead of ORANGE (ORAN), that has 14.4 million customers. According to Antonio Coimbra, Vodafone´s CEO in Spain, there are strong indicators that favor the acquisition:
- [By Charles Sizemore]
As was the case with KMI, ARCP insiders have been using the recent weakness as a buying opportunity. In the month of November, four company officers bought a combined 72,500 shares of ARCP stock worth over $950,000, and this followed a steady stream of insider buying throughout the summer.
Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Telefonica (TEF)
TEF Dividend Yield: 6%
- [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]
Telefonica provides fixed and mobile communication services primarily in Europe and Latin America. The company reported earnings that fell; however, the company is beginning to see a turnaround. The stock has been surging higher after hitting lows last year and is currently trading near highs for the year. Over the last four quarters, earnings have been mixed while revenues have been decreasing, but investors remain optimistic about the company. Relative to its peers and sector, Telefonica has been a relative performance leader year-to-date. Look for Telefonica to OUTPERFORM.