One of my readers asked me to comment about “where the S&P is going”.
You know what? It’s going to bounce around.
I guess the answer to that question is important if you buy index futures, but I buy stocks.
Market index trends don’t affect whether I buy stocks, because there are always good stocks to buy: profitable companies with good chart patterns.
But index trends affect which stocks I buy, which chart patterns I look for, and whether I’m going to hold the stock for two months or two years.
I recently gave readers a list of stocks that I was waiting to buy at lower prices. The markets dipped this week, so I bought Microsoft, Intel and Target. Kroger also reached my “buy” price, but I reconsidered on that one.
There seemed to be more profit potential in the others.
I didn’t already own technology stocks, so my purchase of Microsoft and Intel didn’t overweight my portfolio–an important risk consideration. The only other industry where I own more than one stock is oilwell services & equipment. Curiously, I haven’t owned any oil companies all year. None of them caught my eye. Let’s review a few here.
Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM, $78.86) is Big Oil with a global reach. They racked up $341 billion in 2010 sales, and $30 billion in 2010 profit. Earnings per share (EPS) are projected to finish 2011 up 37.5%, which is an excellent increase, but then they flatten out to -2% and +5% in fiscal years 2012 and 2013. The price earnings ratio (PE) is 9 and the dividend yield is 2.38%.
Does that make Exxon a good investment? Well, I wouldn’t embrace the flat projected earnings, but no doubt the PE and dividend are attractive from a “value stock” point of view. The thing is, I can buy companies with good earnings growth which fall in the “value stock” category, so there’s no motivation for me to buy a company which isn’t projecting consistent annual growth.