After a rocky end to 2018, U.S. equities are smooth sailing through 2019 thus far with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 11.71 percent year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is up 11.45 percent and the Nasdaq Composite is 13.78 percent higher. This, however, doesn’t mean investors should let their guard down and catch one on the chin if a sharp draw-down were to occur.
With 2018’s year-end sell-offs in U.S. equities, investors are giving value investing another look as growth and momentum might be making their way to the exits. A byproduct of a shift to value is a focus on the quality of investments–being selective and using due diligence as screeners to find the best-performing investments.
2018 was no doubt dominated by news regarding the U.S.-China trade war and that should continue until a material trade agreement materializes between the two economic superpowers.
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC that ongoing negotiations with China are making “fantastic” progress. During the interview, Kudlow said that the world’s second largest economy was willing to make key changes regarding the theft of intellectual property, which has been a major point of contention during the trade talks.
“Last week was fantastic,” Kudlow said. ” “We’re making great headway on nontariff barriers and tariffs regarding various commodities such as soybeans and energy and beef. We have mechanisms with regard to enforcement, which is — I think — unparalleled.”
“The progress has been terrific,” Kudlow added. But “we have to hear from the Chinese side. We have to hear from President Xi Jinping, of course. I think we’re headed for a remarkable, historic deal.”
In the meantime, investors are looking opportunities than can provide gains when the markets swing to the upside while dialing down volatility when the broad markets head to the downside.
In the following video, Robert Sluymer, Fundstrat, looks at the best stocks in health care space. With CNBC’s Dominic Chu and Melissa Lee, and the Fast Money traders, Tim Seymour, Steve Grasso, Dan Nathan and Guy Adami.
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