Initial and continuing unemployment claims declined last week, but June’s unemployment rate edged up two-tenths of 1%, to 4.9%. Yet that did nothing to dampen the markets’ spirits. Since our last issue—and despite the Brexit-precipitated market drop—the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained more than 400 points.
So far this year, the market is up some 5%, but you’ll be happy to hear that our contributors and their Top Picks for 2016 fared much better! As you’ll see in this issue, our top five picks averaged a return of 50%, and the total average for all of our Top Picks so far this year is 18.9%. Congratulations to all of our contributors—nice job!
This issue is packed full of updates on our Top Picks, as well as a few more investments to whet your appetite in this momentum-driven market.
We begin the issue discussing the five stocks that have performed best for us since our January issue, noting the reasons the contributors chose them. Not surprisingly, each was picked as a result of their fundamental strengths—trading at a discount, strong balance sheets, growing dividends and rising cash flows—many critical parameters that are essential to long-term investment success.
Energy picks were standouts, as that sector came in second only to Utilities in investor returns so far this year. Our Top Pick thus far, is American Midstream Partners (AMID), which is recommended to be sold to rake in some substantial profits.
Value stocks continue to outperform all other sectors in 2016, and here, we offer updates on two of our Top Picks. Financial companies have been stymied by the lack of interest rate movement; consequently, the sector continues to offer some great bargains—both in banking and asset management.
High-yield investments—in this cycle of historically low interest rates—are particularly attractive, and our contributors follow up on companies in the REIT, automobile, energy, retail and insurance sectors.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to get into companies in the midst of a turnaround, with shares trading at discounted levels, we have three ideas for you, including a New Midyear Top Pick. Lastly, we have one update on an income fund, which is up 11% so far this year.
Moving on to non-Top Pick investments, we offer several more High Yield and Value stocks, from the REIT, commodity, retail, financial and biotech industries.
A nice selection of Funds & ETFs rounds out our ideas this month, and you’ll see a variety of strategies, including Income, International Income and Growth & Income offerings here.