JT’s DAILY (WEEKLY as of 12/9/2013) BLOG for Month Of May 2021
Note: All previous month's posts are available in the archives, as noted above.
All postings for the month are available here, sorted in descending order - i.e. most recent at the top.
1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 05/24/2021
Posted Sunday 05/23/2021 02:00 PM
Stocks churned mostly in place last week, ending a bit below where they began it, for most of the averages I track. The NASDAQ was an exception, ending just slightly above the prior week’s close. The flare-up in the Middle East dominated the headlines. Adding to the unease was a major decline in Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, indicating the fragility of the gains realized by the crypto traders.
Stocks on my lists going ex-dividend in the week ahead are listed following, with the date and current yield, based on Friday’s close, indicated. Assume the dividend is paid quarterly unless otherwise indicated.
Pan American Silver (PAAS), 5/24/2021, 0.90%.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), 5/24/2021, 2.49%.
Eni S p A (E), 5/24/2021, 3.43%. E pays semi-annually. This Italian integrated oil company was at one time favored over the US-based giants, as a better buy and yield. Not so today, it is on my Tier4 list. Another factor is both E and Total SE (TOT), the French integrated oil company, have significant foreign tax withholding imposed on US shareholders, which results in a substantially reduced yield.
Prudential Financial (PRU), 5/24/2021, 4.27%.
Prospect Capital (PSEC), 5/26/2021, 8.69%. PSEC pays monthly.
AGNC Investment (AGNC), 5/27/2021, 7.81%. AGNC pays monthly.
Barrick Gold (GOLD), 5/27/2021, 1.46%.
Main Street Capital (MAIN), 5/27/2021, 6.01%. MAIN pays monthly.
STAG Industrial (STAG), 5/27/2021, 4.07%. STAG pays monthly.
Kraft Heinz (KHC), 5/27/2021, 3.53%.
Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (BEP), 5/27/2021, 3.03%.
Lumen Technologies (LUMN), 5/28/2021, 7.04%.
Kellogg (K), 5/28/2021, 3.50%.
McDonalds (MCD), 5/28/2021, 2.22%.
Safety Insurance Group (SAFT), 5/28/2021, 4.18%.
Realty Income (O), 5/28/2021, 4.21%.
None of the CEFs I follow will be going ex-dividend in the week ahead.
None of my stocks will be reporting in the week ahead.
Upgrades, downgrades, etc. issued on my stocks (as reported by E*Trade) last week were as follows:
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) was upgraded from Hold to Buy at Societe Generale.
Pan American Silver (PAAS) was upgraded from Sector Perform to OutPerform at National Bank Financial.
Williams Cos (WMB) was upgraded from Hold to Buy at Argus.
Alliant Energy (LNT) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Mizuho.
Healthpeak Properties (PEAK) was downgraded from OverWeight to Neutral at JP Morgan.
Lumen Technologies (LUMN) was downgraded from OutPerform to Perform at Oppenheimer.
Intel (INTC) was resumed at OverWeight at KeyBanc.
AT&T (T) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at both UBS and New Street. T has been in the financial news all week following a blockbuster merger announcement, with a likely dividend cut coming. These rating firms apparently approve of the deal.
Welltower (WELL) was upgraded from Equal Weight to OverWeight at Capital One.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at DZBank.
Energy Transfer LP (ET) was initiated at Buy at Citigroup.
The market has been consolidating since the highs reached around May 10 or so, seemingly undecided about which way to go. The boom times expected with the virus winding down are running into labor and supply shortages, and prices are going up at an alarming pace. Deep down, most economic observers have to be concerned about the effects of the government stimulus and resulting deficits and the longer-term economic impact. The political divide at home is as wide as ever, and the international situation is certainly not favorable. My expectation is that a market decline will occur sooner or later, the major unknown is the timing.
1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 05/17/2021
Posted Sunday 05/16/2021 10:00 AM
Last week stocks declined by significant amounts the first three days, then rallied to regain a little less than half of the loss over the final two days. At one point on Wednesday, the biggest decline day, some wondered if the long-predicted correction had arrived. Probably not, based on Thursday’s and Friday’s results. The week may be more comparable to earthquake tremors that subside, ahead of “the big one”. Only the future can reveal whether last week’s action was significant and predictive, or not. The facts remain, however, that the market is ridiculously over-valued, speculation is rampant, the latest economic numbers indicate serious inflation is occurring in the economy, and the national and international geopolitical situation is seeing multiple crises arise, which the current Administration is either ignoring or denying the existence of.
Stocks on my lists going ex-dividend in the week ahead are listed following, with the date and current yield, based on Friday’s close, indicated. Assume the dividend is paid quarterly unless otherwise indicated. Since some of my Tier4 (no longer recommended) stocks are still paying dividends, I will identify these stocks if any are listed. Recall that I continue to follow these, even though not recommended, even as a rank speculation, as long as they continue to exist.
Horizon Technology Finance (HRZN), 5/17/2021, 7.39%. HRZN pays monthly.
Gladstone Investment (GAIN), 5/18/2021, 6.26%. GAIN is also a monthly payer.
Chevron (CVX), 5/18/2021, 4.90%.
Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM), 5/20/2021, 1.24%. Note that WPM is a speculation on precious metals, and is not considered a dividend stock.
Pitney Bowes (PBI), 5/20/2021, 2.56%. PBI is a Tier4 stock. It has rebounded from the lows set in 2020, my advice to anyone holding it is to get out now, while it has a market price in the $7 to $8 range.
Unilever PLC (UL), 5/20/2021, 3.26%.
3M Co (MMM), 5/20/2021, 2.90%. The Covid lows of March 2020 would have been a terrific bargain, I actually had an order in, but just missed it. If only one could see the future!!
Hershey Co (HSY), 5/20/2021, 1.88%. A respectable dividend stock for many years, a sub-2% yield tells you the stock price has soared, while the dividend has not kept up.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), 5/20/2021, 5.41%. Long recognized as the highest-yielding drug stock, GSK is at least worthy of speculation. I am cautious of health-care related stocks in general, and drug stocks in particular. Too much government involvement.
Pan American Silver (PAAS), 5/24/2021, 0.90%. Same comment as above for WPM applies.
United Parcel Service (UPS), 5/24/2021, 1.89%. The stock has prospered during the Covid crisis, no doubt, with a near vertical stock chart since the Covid lows.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), 5/24/2021, 2.49%. JNJ is more diversified than most drug stocks, so possibly a bit safer.
Eni S p A (E), 5/24/2021, 3.43%. E pays semi-annually. This Italian integrated oil company was at one time favored over the US-based giants, as a better buy and yield. Not so today, it is on my Tier4 list. Another factor is both E and Total SE (TOT), the French integrated oil company, have significant foreign tax withholding imposed on US shareholders, which results in a substantially reduced actual yield.
Prudential Financial (PRU), 5/24/2021, 4.27%. I owned PRU for a few months, but as the stock went vertical in 2021, I gave in to the temptation and harvested the gain.
CEFs on my list going ex-dividend this week are as shown below. All three of these are monthly payers.
Clarion Global Real Estate Income Fund (IGR), 5/19/2021, 7.48%.
Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Diversified Equity Income Fund (ETY), 5/20/2021, 7.63%.
Miller Howard High Income Equity Fund (HIE), 5/20/2021, 5.78%.
Only two of my stocks will be reporting this week, Cisco Systems (CSCO) on 5/19/2021, and Apollo Investment (AINV), on 5/20/2021.
Upgrades, downgrades, etc. issued on my stocks (as reported by E*Trade) last week were as follows:
Intel (INTC) was downgraded from Neutral to UnderWeight at Atlantic Equities.
Energy Transfer LP (ET) was upgraded from Equal Weight to OverWeight at Wells Fargo. ET has been bumped to my Tier4 list, but I still own it, and there is a chance that the assets can carry the firm past some management miscues that have led to the demotion to Tier4.
Ventas (VTR) was upgraded from Neutral to OutPerform at Baird, and from UnderWeight to OverWeight at KeyBanc.
Kinder Morgan (KMI) was downgraded from Equal Weight to UnderWeight at Wells Fargo.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) was initiated at Buy at MKM Partners.
General Electric (GE) was resumed at Buy at Citigroup. GE, a one-time “widows and orphans” stock, is a case study in how there are no more “widows and orphans” stocks in today’s rapidly changing environment.
As noted in the introduction, the week ahead will be interesting, will the booming stock market resume, or are we entering a period of up and down markets, that may eventually morph into a major down market? I personally am very cautious regarding equities right now, and I’m willing to give up some dividend income, in return for a higher cash position than normal. The last year and a half illustrates perfectly why it is so hard to make money in stocks – the time to buy is when stocks have collapsed, as in March 2020, when everyone is pessimistic, and the time to sell is when stocks are setting new records daily, and everyone is optimistic, such as right now. Of course, the time to sell may be 6 months or longer from now. Just in case it is now, I’ve sold some, but just in case it isn’t, I’m holding on to some as well.
1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 05/10/2021
Posted Sunday 05/09/2021 02:00 PM
Stocks mostly advanced last week, with the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 gaining every day, and the NASDAQ gaining the last two days of the week, after declining the first three days. One big surprise was the extremely disappointing monthly employment report released on Friday, and an even bigger surprise followed the release, as all the major averages posted gains for the day in spite of it. There is agreement among most market pundits that we are in “bubble” territory, with speculation running amok. Yes, there is little doubt how it will end, but much debate as to the timing. My approach is not to panic and sell everything, but selectively take advantage of the current surge by selling some positions to move to around a 50% cash position overall. I’m willing to forego some dividend income to be positioned for a crash, While I don’t necessarily believe it is imminent, I also don’t believe it is years away.
As I said last week, I will now resume reporting on my stocks. In the interest of completeness, beginning with the month of May, I will report ex-dividend dates and earnings dates for my stocks for the week just ended, as well as the week ahead. I will also report upgrades/downgrades on my stocks that came out last week, as per Etrade.
Before I begin, I want to note a couple of additional changes to my lists.
Tier2 Changes: MPLX LP (MPLX) was moved from Tier3 to Tier2. Intel (INTC) was inadvertently omitted from Tier2, it has been reinstated. Compass Minerals (CMP) is a new addition to Tier2.
Tier3 Changes: MFA Financial was demoted to Tier4, but was inadvertently not removed from Tier3.
Tier4 Changes: ENI S p A (E) and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT) were inadvertently not added to Tier4. My practice has always been to keep tracking stocks that I once recommended, as long as they continue to be traded. It is always possible that a firm’s management will “right the ship” and the stock will be upgraded back into at least my Tier3, These two firms may fall into that category, both are still paying dividends, but they just happen to be in sectors significantly affected by the Covid epidemic.
CEFs: I added Pimco Corporate & Income Opportunity (PTY) to the list of CEFs I follow. It just hit a new five year high, so now is not the best time to buy, but I have owned it in the past, and it is on my watch list.
Stocks on my lists going ex-dividend so far this month are as follows, listed by ex-dividend date, with the annualized yield presented. Assume quarterly frequency unless otherwise indicated.
Sanofy (SNY), 3.38%. SNY pays semi-annually.
First Trust Intermediate Duration & Income Fund (FPF), 6.18%. This CEF pays monthly.
Hoegh LNG partners LP (HMLP), 10.61%.
Entergy (ETR), 3.51%.
Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP), 8.74%.
Pfizer (PFE), 3.94%.
Intel (INTC), 2.41%.
Crestwood Equity Partners LP (CEQP), 8.44%.
MPLX LP (MPLX), 9.84%.
Martin Midstream Partners LP (MMLP), 0.84%. Yes, the annualized yield is less than 1%, even with a unit price of $2 and change. MMLP is a Tier4 holding, deservedly so.
AllianceBernsrein Global High Income Fund (AWF), 6.50%. This CEF pays monthly.
NuStar Energy LP (NS), 8.57%.
Healthpeak Properties (PEAK), 3.63%.
American Electric Power (AEP), 3.39%.
Energy Transfer LP (ET), 6.82%.
Welltower (WELL), 3.36%.
Hercules Capital (HTGC), 7.25%.
Paychex (PAYX), 2.61%.
Cohen & Steers MLP Income & Energy Opportunity Fund (MIE), 5.07%. MIE pays monthly.
Cohen & Steers Quality Income Realty Fund (RQI), 6.54%. RQI also pays monthly.
ExxonMobil (XOM), 5.57%.
PIMCO Corporate & Income Opportunity Fund (PTY), 8.05%. PTY pays monthly.
Eaton (ETN), 2.06%.
Enbridge (ENB), 6.65%.
Smucker J M Co (SJM), 2.64%.
Emerson Electric (EMR), 2.13%.
Exelon (EXC), 3.42%.
Duke Energy (DUK), 3.83%.
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B), 3.71%.
Goldman Sachs BDC (GSBD), 9.15%.
Oxford Square Capital (OXSQ), 8.40%. OXSQ pays monthly.
BlackRock Debt Strategies Fund (DSU), 7.13%, DSU pays monthly.
BlackRock Enhanced Equity Dividend Trust (BDJ), 6.01%. BDJ pays monthly.
Nuveen Real Asset Income and Growth Fund (JRI), 7.45%. JRI pays monthly.
Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT), 8.01%. GUT pays monthly.
Gabelli Dividend & Income Trust (GDV), 5.19%. GDV pays monthly.
BlackRock Energy and Resources Trust (BGR), 5.41%. BGR pays monthly.
Pennantpark Floating Rate Capital (PFLT), 8.95%. PFLT pays monthly.
Southern Co (SO), 3.96%.
Horizon Technology Finance (HRZN), 7.32%. HRZN is a monthly payer.
I have restarted this website just as Q1 earnings season is winding down. Stocks on my lists that have either already reported since May 1st, or that are scheduled to do so in the week ahead, are listed following, by date.
Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD), Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI), Realty Income (O), Williams Companies (WMB).
Eaton (ETN), Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (BEP), NuStar Energy LP (NS), Pfizer (PFE), Healthpeak Properties (PEAK), Plains All American Pipeline LP (PAA), Prudential Financial (PRU), STAG Industrial (STAG), MPLX LP (MPLX), Monroe Capital (MRCC).
Barrick Gold (GOLD), Chimera Investment (CIM), Emerson Electric (EMR), Exelon (EXC), Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG), Lumen Technologies (LUMN), Owl Rock Capital (ORCC), Spirit Realty Capital (SRC), Tanger Outlet Centers (SKT), Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR), Pennantpark Investment (PNNT), SLR Investment (SLRC), Pennantpark Floating Rate Capital Ltd (PFLT).
Iron Mountain (IRM), Kellogg (K), Alliant Energy (LNT), Americold Realty Trust (COLD), Energy Transfer LP (ET), Main Street Capital (MAIN), Park Hotels & Resorts (PK), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM), Goldman Sachs BDC (GSBD), Oaktree Specialty Lending (OCSL), MFA Financial (MFA).
Enbridge (ENB), Ventas (VTR).
National Health Investors (NHI), Duke Energy (DUK), Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Golub Capital BDC (GBDC), Prospect Capital (PSEC).
B & G Foods (BGS), Gladstone Investment (GAIN).
Pan American Silver (PAAS).
Upgrades, downgrades, etc. issued on my stocks (as reported by Etrade) since the first of May are as follows:
SLR Investment (SLRC) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Compass Point.
United Parcel Service (UPS) was upgraded from Peer Perform to OutPerform by Wolfe Research.
Welltower (WELL) was upgraded from Sector Perform to OutPerform at RBC Capital.
Medical Properties Trust (MPW) was downgraded from OutPerform to Sector Perform at RBC Capital.
Oxford Square Capital (OXSQ) was downgraded from Buy to Neutral at Ladenburg Thalman.
VICI Properties (VICI) was downgraded from OverWeight to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.
Crown Castle International (CCI) was downgraded from OutPerform to Market Perform at Raymond James.
Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEP) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at R F Lafferty.
McDonalds (MCD) was reiterated at OutPerform at Telsey Advisoy Group.
ExxonMobil (XOM) was upgraded from Hold to Buy at DZ Bank.
Altria (MO) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Argus Research.
Kraft Heinz (KHC) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at DZ Bank.
VICI Properties (VICI) was downgraded from OutPerform to InLine at Evercore ISI.
Pfizer (PFE) was downgraded from Buy to Neutral at Mizuho.
The week ahead should be interesting. I’m wondering if the market may have a delayed reaction to the disappointing April jobs report, as investors have second thoughts about what it may portend. Regardless, as I stated at the outset, I believe it is time to start getting ready for a market storm. Better to be a few months early than a few days late. On the other hand, I remember a chorus of doomsayers getting a lot of press in the mid-nineties. Yes, the crash did come, but not for another five years. That is why I’m not selling everything and heading for the hills. At least, not yet!
1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 05/03/2021
Posted Sunday 05/02/2021 09:00 PM
Very little has changed since my last post in January, as all the major stock averages continue to set new highs. The Fed and the Biden Administration continue to flood the economy with more stimulus, with little concern for the long-term impact of the spiraling deficits, and with nearly all the fiscal conservatives no longer around, or cowed into silence, there is no end in sight. All long-time market watchers agree that the market is extremely over-valued, based on just about any criteria ever used historically to determine that fact. But stock market bears have been carried out on a stretcher so many times that no one remaining has any desire to get in front of the market freight train. It may go on for many months to come, unless some major event or catalyst occurs to end it suddenly.
I have reworked my stock lists, and my buy and sell prices have been updated (upwards) just a little, but not by much. Many stocks are trading at or even above my recommended sell prices, which reflects my view of where things stand at the moment. I personally am at a higher cash level than usual, about 1/3 cash. I’m slowly selling out as gains or recoveries are too tempting to pass up. My target is to be 50% in cash by July or August. I’m willing to forego some dividend income for a few months, maybe even longer, to have cash ready to deploy when the market breaks.
Next week I will resume my usual practice of announcing upcoming ex-dividend dates, upgrades/downgrades, anticipated earnings reports, and any other noteworthy news on the stocks on my lists.
My lists have not changed much. As expected, the yields are mostly down, reflecting the price increases most stocks are experiencing. The buy/sell prices are not to be taken literally, but rather reflect a range that considers where the stock is trading currently and in the recent past, and thus what would seem to be a prudent buy or sell price assuming no major change occurs. These levels are also influenced by my view of the market, which as noted, is that it is over-valued currently. The 5-year price highs and lows are instructive, and are presented to illustrate that stock prices can be quite volatile, even when very little has changed, as far as a firm’s operations are concerned. As expected, the Covid-induced decline in March 2020 was a terrific buying opportunity, and the recovery since then has been amazing.
A recap of my Tier changes is:
Added to Tier1: Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Texas Instruments (TXN).
Added to Tier2: Rio Tinto PLC (RIO), VICI Properties (VICI), Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR), and Americold Realty Trust (COLD).
Moved from Tier4 back to Tier3: Monroe Capital (MRCC).
Moved from Tier3 to Tier4: Tier4 is for stocks I no longer recommend. Vodafone Group PLC (VOD), Oxford Square Capital (OXSQ), MFA Financial (MFA), NGL Energy Partners LP (NGL), and Energy Transfer (ET). VOD, OXSQ (formerly TICC), and MFA continue to pay dividends, and may recover. NGL was a speculation on a troubled MLP that did not pan out, as the firm suspended the dividend. It too may yet recover. ET is probably the strongest company on T4, and continues to pay out at this time, but the self-induced legal entanglements that the firm’s management style has generated has caused me to lose confidence. If it can recover, buying today could be a good investment for the patient investor.