The market as a whole is hanging near all time highs but there are chinks in the armor. Where stocks moved in lock-step for much of 2013 there's a much larger spread between the have and have-nots is far more pronounced of late.
Consider two chip names that we're once highly correlated. Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD) have many overlapping businesses and customers but for investors the difference couldn't be larger. While Intel shares are breaking to multi-decade highs AMD missed earnings estimates and promptly got pole-axed last week. Those who owned both stocks are close to flat on the pair.
Investors can that set-up a stock pickers market. In the attached clip Hugh Johnson offers three picks that he thinks have a good chance of dodging the growing potholes facing underperformers during the have and have-not Summer of 2014.
National Oilwell (NOV):Johnson notes the 2.2% dividend yiled on National Oilwell means "you're being paid to own the stock even in a fairly benign stock market environment." He also thinks their price/earnings ration divided by the growth rate, a good indication of stock value is in the sweet spot for National Oilwell. Furthermore he notes, "it's in the right sector, we know there's a boom going on in oil and gas production."
Johnson loves the Cupertino kings going into earnings this week despite rumors of delays on new products. "While you;re waiting for the next new product," Johnson says, "you're being paid fairly well from Apple, very strong cash flow, in order to own the company." Like National Oilwell Johnson says Apple too is fairly valued despite what you may hear.
It's not just the big, well-known tech names that Johnson likes. Chip maker Nvidia produces 3D chips for mobile and personal computers and, as Johnson notes, they continue to beat analyst expectations. He also says "once again we have positive relative performance of the stock versus both its sector as well as the S&P 500." While it may not be as cheap in terms of valuation as National Oilwell and Apple Johnson says it's still reasonable enough to own.