Let’s be clear, value stocks have been doing great over the last six months as growth stocks have started to fizzle. Accordingly, a lot of the small cap value stocks you could have found at the end of last summer have already risen strongly. However, there are a number of them that still look great buys according to fund managers. Here are a few names to explore: Citizens Financial Group, a strong regional bank; United Community Banks, a quick-growing regional bank; Sunstone Hotel Investors, a REIT that owns hotel buildings and leases them to big hotel chains; Herc Holdings, a construction and earth-moving equipment rental company; Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp, a timeshare operator; and Ultra Clean Holdings, which makes chemicals and equipment for the semiconductor industry.
FINSUM: A bounce back in leisure travel is quite an interesting play for us, so Sunstone and Marriott Vacations look interesting, but all of these are worth a deeper dive.
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Investors may fear it, but we all know the big tax package is coming. Personal income tax rates, and likely business rates will rise. State and local taxes will be affected too. So one big question is how this will pay out for muni bonds. The answer, at least according to Franklin Templeton, is that munis are going to do great. The reason why could not be simpler: with tax rates rising, the relative value of munis rises since their tax exempt status because relatively more valuable.
FINSUM: Anxiety about the forthcoming tax plan is rising, and that is a great tailwind for munis. Couple that with the fact that Democrats are more in favor of federal support for municipalities and you have a great combination for muni bonds.