In this volatile market, one expert says now’s the time to take a barbell approach to the market and says these 4 stocks are the best way to play it.
While the S&P 500 is up modestly over the last week, with the index up 3.4%, one expert says this uptick is an opportunity to pick up a few beaten-down cyclical names.
Key Advisors Group co-owner Eddie Ghabour said this week that the market’s recent rise “gives investors that were fully invested a golden opportunity to de-risk and raise some cash, so that way they can buy the dips because I do truly believe we’re going to be in this volatile environment at these 8% to 10% moves. And I think you can buy the dips right now.”
The S&P 500 is up nearly 32% since the bottom on March 23. However, the index is still down around -13% from its February 19 high. But that, according to Ghabour, makes now the right time to employ a barbell strategy.
“We can now do a barbell approach in which you can start nibbling in the cyclical names like the JPMorgans (NYSE: JPM), like the Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX),” Ghabour said. “We’ve been advising clients that we will be dollar-cost averaging into these types of sectors that have been beaten up because… there are certain companies that are up pretty big here today, but there’s many companies that have been truly beaten up, and they’re still down 30% to 40%.”
Starbucks shares are down nearly -17% from their high back at the end of January when the coffee chain was forced to close its stores in China. But four months later as Starbucks begins to reopen its stores both in China and the U.S., customers are beginning to flock back to its cafes.
CEO Kevin Johnson said Thursday that its stores have regained about 60% to 65% of its same-store sales over the last week in the U.S., and its same-store sales in China are down only about 20%, “reflecting gradual improvements over the past several weeks,” Johnson said.
“Our recovery progresses each week,” Johnson added, “and we know that it will take time to fully recover and post positive comparable store sales growth.”
JPMorgan, meanwhile, is down -34% from its February 19 high.
Last month, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said that while earnings will be down “meaningfully” this year, the bank is in a strong position with $500 billion in liquid assets and an additional $300 billion in borrowing capacity from the Federal Reserve that it can use to support loans, if needed.
Dimon also said that the bank would only consider suspending its dividend under an “extremely adverse scenario.”
“If the Board suspended the dividend, it would be out of extreme prudence and based upon continued uncertainty over what the next few years will bring,” Dimon said.
Ghabour also stressed the importance of a diversified portfolio—suggesting also layering into names like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) at the other end of the barbell, which are up 32.5% and 16.3% for the year, respectively—and said that cash should be used as a hedge against wild swings in the market.
“We’re telling clients that we think they should have at least a 10% to 20% cash position right now,” Ghabour said. “I truly feel like sometimes investors think they need to be fully invested and cash is not talked about enough as part of an asset allocation and with so much uncertainty I think it would be crazy right now for an investor that’s close to retirement to be fully invested in the equity markets.”
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