51 Trades to Make Before October 17

Welcome to the second week of the U.S. government shutdown. While most civilian Department of Defense employees have been sent back to work, the infighting in Washington continues to disrupt the federal government’s operations. While the uncertainty is weighing on investor sentiment and causing day-to-day fluctuations, the S&P 500 is flat over the past week.

Just today, the major indices cut their opening losses in half this afternoon as rumors of a potential debt ceiling agreement emerged.  I can’t speak for the exact rumors just yet, but it will be interesting to see if the government really runs out of money in mid-October.  As for me, I share the opinion of Moody’s Analytics’ CEO Raymond McDaniel, who proclaimed yesterday that a U.S. government default is “extremely unlikely.”

Treasury Secretary Lew said that a failure of the U.S. to pay its obligations if the debt limit is not raised “would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic.” That being said, he has introduced extraordinary accounting measures to help ensure that the government has something in its coffers come October 17. And leaders of Congress on both sides have said and even introduced bills to insure that the U.S. will not default on its obligations. House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said that he is flexible about working with Democrats to increase in the debt limit.  Meanwhile, President Obama has all but promised at least a short-term increase in the federal borrowing cap.

So the threat of a default remains extremely unlikely. Even so, we’ll probably continue to see some day-to-day choppiness if these distractions continue. The best thing you can do to protect your portfolio from market jitters is by sticking with the fundamentally strongest stocks. To get you started, I’ve pulled together a list of 51 big blue chips that were upgraded or downgraded in my Portfolio Grader stock screening tool over the weekend. Take a moment to review the list and see if any of your current positions are on the move.


Last Week’s Holds, Now Buys

Symbol Company Name Quantitative Grade Fundamental Grade
GIB CGI Group Inc.  B B
LVS Las Vegas Sands Corp. B B
MSI Motorola Solutions, Inc. B B
NTAP NetApp, Inc. B B
SNDK SanDisk Corporation C A
STJ St. Jude Medical, Inc. B C
STX Seagate Technology PLC B C
TSU TIM Participacoes S.A.  B C
WYNN Wynn Resorts, Limited B C
YNDX Yandex NV  C B

Last Week’s Sells, Now Holds

Symbol Company Name Quantitative Grade Fundamental Grade
BAM Brookfield Asset Management Inc.  D C
CHU China Unicom (Hong Kong)  D B
CXO Concho Resources Inc. C D
INFY Infosys  D B
SAN Banco Santander S.A.  C C
TKC Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S.  D C
VLO Valero Energy Corporation C C
WFT Weatherford International Ltd. C C


Last Week’s Buys, Now Holds

Symbol Company Name Quantitative Grade Fundamental Grade
ACE ACE Limited C B
BLK BlackRock, Inc. C B
BMO Bank of Montreal C B
CCE Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. C C
CLX The Clorox Company C C
CS Credit Suisse Group AG  C B
DISCA Discovery Communications, Inc.  C C
EMR Emerson Electric Co. B C
FDX FedEx Corporation C C
GM General Motors Company C C
GS The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. C B
HIG The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. B C
MFC Manulife Financial Corporation B D
MTB M&T Bank Corporation C B
UPS United Parcel Service, Inc.  B C

Last Week’s Holds, Now Sells

Symbol Company Name Quantitative Grade Fundamental Grade
BAX Baxter International Inc. D C
BF.A Brown-Forman Corporation  D C
CCI Crown Castle International Corp. D C
CL Colgate-Palmolive Company D C
COV Covidien Plc D C
CX Cemex SAB de CV  D D
DTE DTE Energy Company D C
EPD Enterprise Products Partners L.P. D C
FRX Forest Laboratories, Inc. D C
HBC HSBC Holdings plc  D C
HCN Health Care REIT, Inc. D C
MRK Merck & Co., Inc. D C
NU Northeast Utilitites D B
SNN Smith & Nephew plc  D C
SNY Sanofi  D D
TD The Toronto-Dominion Bank D C


Louis Navellier

Louis Navellier


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