After finishing the week on a quiet note, Wall Street is off to the races today. The Dow and the S&P 500 are up around 0.8% while the NASDAQ has gapped up over 1%. And that makes sense, considering that many of today’s biggest winners are from the tech sector—particularly high-yield plays like Hewlett Packard Co. (HPQ), International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Intel Corp. (INTC) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).
But a word to the wise: While these stock companies all pay respectable dividends, I don’t want you to follow the crowd. This is a classic case of people bottom fishing, and I expect this strategy to bite them back later. Just a quick run-through in Portfolio Grader shows you that not a single one of these stocks pulls off a buy rating. The strongest of the four, MSFT, is a C-rated hold while the others are outright sells. One only has to look this year’s estimates to see why:
- Hewlett-Packard is due for a 13.6% drop in earnings.
- International Business Machines is expected see sales fall 0.8%.
- Intel Corp.’s earnings are expected to fall 12.2%.
- Microsoft is headed towards just 1.1% bottom-line growth.
This is just one example of why it pays to run your stocks through my Portfolio Grader tool. This stock screening tool is based on cold hard data rather than hype. As the choppy summer trading season kicks off, it will be more important than ever to ignore the market’s knee-jerk reactions and let the data, not your emotions, dictate your actions.
On that note, let’s look at the 56 big blue chips that have been upgraded and downgraded this weekend. After taking a close look at the latest data on institutional buying pressure and each company’s fundamental health, I decided to revise my Portfolio Grader recommendations for each of the stocks listed below.
Last Week’s Holds, Now Buys
|AEG||Aegon N.V. ADS||B||C|
|BAC||Bank of America Corp.||B||D|
|CX||Cemex SAB de CV ADR||B||C|
|DG||Dollar General Corp.||B||B|
|GWW||W.W. Grainger Inc.||B||B|
|NKE||Nike Inc. Cl B||B||B|
|PFG||Principal Financial Group Inc.||B||B|
|RSG||Republic Services Inc.||A||C|
|SNN||Smith & Nephew PLC ADS||B||C|
|TWC||Time Warner Cable Inc.||B||C|
|UAL||United Continental Holdings Inc.||B||C|
|WM||Waste Management Inc.||B||C|
Last Week’s Sells, Now Holds
|ABB||ABB Ltd. ADS||C||C|
|AMAT||Applied Materials Inc.||C||C|
|CHK||Chesapeake Energy Corp.||C||C|
|CME||CME Group Inc. Cl A||C||D|
|FTI||FMC Technologies Inc.||D||C|
|GD||General Dynamics Corp.||C||D|
|ING||ING Groep N.V. ADS||D||B|
|NSC||Norfolk Southern Corp.||D||C|
|ROK||Rockwell Automation Inc.||C||C|
|SNE||Sony Corp. ADS||C||D|
|TOT||Total S.A. ADS||D||C|
|UPS||United Parcel Service Inc. Cl B||C||D|
Last Week’s Buys, Now Holds
|CNI||Canadian National Railway Co.||C||C|
|MA||MasterCard Inc. Cl A||C||B|
|MSI||Motorola Solutions Inc.||C||C|
|RRC||Range Resources Corp.||C||C|
Last Week’s Holds, Now Sells
|BBBY||Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.||D||B|
|BHI||Baker Hughes Inc.||D||D|
|ENI||Enersis S.A. ADS||D||C|
|INFY||Infosys Ltd. ADR||D||C|
|MAR||Marriott International Inc.||D||B|
|MJN||Mead Johnson Nutrition Co.||D||C|