Financial advisors are a conservative bunch, so we know that there has been some very anxious feelings over the last couple of weeks as would-be Democrat presidents have announced their intentions for big tax hikes. How about 70% top tax rates and major wealth taxes? Some, like Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer, have also recently posed putting restrictions on buybacks. With all this in mind, here is a list of stocks that would be most in trouble from the Democrat plans that are currently on the table. According to Barron’s, the most at risk are Citigroup, Whirlpool, American Airlines, Union Pacific, and Boeing, but Walmart and Harley-Davidson could also be exposed.
FINSUM: This list was rather simply done—the companies that had reduced headcount the most and also bought back shares. However, as we move towards the election, it is time to start considering the risks to different stocks.
Top Wall Street analysts have just published updated outlooks on the best growth stocks. This piece looks at top ranked analyst recommendations. The top 5 growth stocks for this year are: cloud communications platform Twilio, athletics apparel retailer Lululemon, cloud stock MongoDB, Amazon, and healthcare stock Sarepta Therapeutics.
FINSUM: The big question in growth stocks is whether they will continue to outperform value, as they have for several years. We think the trend is your friend here.
One could argue that we are in a stock pickers’ market. With valuations down and no clear narrative to lift all boats, the market seems set to let stock pickers shine as companies start to trade on their fundamentals more than in the last few years. With that in mind, here are four of the best REIT picks. REITs are a very diversified group, and picking them now is more complicated than ever given rising rates and slumping real estate markets. The best areas in REITs right now are those that deal in ecommerce warehousing as well as data centers. Here are 4 picks that could do well: Hersha Hospitality Trust (HT), CyrusOne Inc. (CONE), Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT), and Stag Industrial (STAG).
FINSUM: We think the industrial REIT area (ecommerce warehousing) seems to be a really good choice as the underlying demand for space is steady and growing.
Here is an eye-opener—all the carnage of December is almost in the rearview mirror for the Nasdaq. The index has just about risen out of its bear market, up 20% from its lows. That is an amazing turnaround from its nadir on December 24th. The index is heavily weighted towards big tech shares and has recently rallied on the back of optimism about improving US-China trade relations and a more dovish Fed.
FINSUM: We like good news, but the rally in the Nasdaq feels like too much too soon!
One of the hottest trades in the last several months has been to buy a basket of low volatility stocks. The idea is that one can insulate their portfolio from the market’s fluctuations by buying stocks that are less likely to see swings in value. The problem is, the trade has gotten very crowded. Legal & General Investment Management says that “Low volatility might be becoming vulnerable as investors chasing recent performance and buying into gloomy 2018 outlooks flock into it … It is becoming a relatively consensus position, which for us is a warning sign”.
FINSUM: Low volatility stocks held up well in the tumultuous fourth quarter, but the attractiveness of the strategy has made valuations quite high. Such stocks typically lag in upward markets, so there does seem to be some significant risk here.