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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Middlesex Water, Atlantic Power, NexPoint Residential Trust, Illumina and BioDelivery Sciences International

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 21, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Middlesex Water Co. MSEX, Atlantic Power Corp. AT, NexPoint Residential Trust Inc. NXRT, Illumina Inc. ILMN and BioDelivery Sciences International Inc. BDSI.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Top Rate-Sensitive Stocks to Buy Amid the Fed’s Rate Cut Hints

In its FOMC minutes on Jun 19, the Fed kept interest rate unchanged while giving a clear indication that it will not hesitate to take appropriate action, when required, to sustain economic expansion. The central bank is concerned about global economic slowdown and lingering tariff war between the United States and China.

Tepid manufacturing data, lower business spending and muted inflation may compel the Fed to cut interest rates this year. Moreover, non-farm payroll in May was extremely low, signaling a possible halt in labor market growth, which was one of the key pillars of U.S. economic expansion.

Fed Signals Near-Term Rate Cut

On Jun 14, in his speech following the FOMC meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that the benchmark lending rate was kept intact at 2.25-2.5%. Fed’s fund flow rate projection chart is not showing any possibility of a reduction in rate before early 2020.

However,  the noticeable fact is that out of 17 voting members of the Fed, a strong bunch of eight is expecting a rate cut this year, while another eight members are in favor of maintaining status quo. Only one member is expecting a rate hike instead of a rate cut.

Market participants feel the numbers are strong indication of one or more rate cut this year. In fact, several market watchers are expecting a quarter to half a percentage point cut in benchmark rate throughout the rest of 2019. Notably, the Fed has removed the term “patient’ from its minutes and added that “the FOMC will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion”.

The Fed has said that adoption of more accommodative policy is gaining ground as some economic developments raised concerns about U.S. and global growth. Meanwhile, traders are wholeheartedly expecting at least one rate cut in July. Per CME FedWatch, Fed funds futures market tool is pointing a 67.7% probability of a 25 basis-point reduction in fund rate while 32.3% probability of a reduction of 50 basis points.

Tepid Global Economic Data

Lingering trade conflict between the United States and China has already dented investors’ confidence internationally. Non-farm job addition in May came in at just 75,000. Moreover, total job addition in April and March was reduced by 75,000.

U.S. manufacturing is suffering due to lack of global demand. The ISM Manufacturing Index for May came in at 52.1, the lowest level since October 2016. Factory orders for U.S.-made durable goods declined 0.8% in April. Additionally, U.S. core PCE inflation index – Fed’s favorite inflation gauge – rose 1.6% in April, well below the central bank’s target rate of 2%.

China’s official manufacturing PMI for May slipped to 49.4, from April’s reading of 50.1. PMI readings below 50 signal contraction in the Chinese manufacturing sector. The National Bureau of Statistics of China reported that value-added industrial output rose 5.0% in May compared with 5.4% in April. This was the lowest growth rate in 17 years.

Yields on 10-year Treasury bond in Germany, Switzerland and Japan are currently in negative territory. Moreover, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds declined to less than 1% in France, Spain and the U.K.

Our Top Picks

Under these circumstances, rate-sensitive investments like utilities, REITs and health care, with strong growth potential, will be prudent. We narrowed down our search to five such stocks, each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can seethe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Middlesex Water Co.owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems. It operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. The company has expected earnings growth of 10.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 5.9% over the last 60 days.

Atlantic Power Corp.owns and operates a fleet of power generation assets in the United States and Canada. The company has expected earnings growth of 50% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 118.2% over the last 60 days.

NexPoint Residential Trust Inc.invests primarily in residential mortgage loans and mortgage-related assets in the United States. The company has expected earnings growth of 10.6% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 0.5% over the last 60 days.

Illumina Inc.provides sequencing and array-based solutions for genetic analysis. The company operates in two segments, Core Illumina and Consolidated VIEs. The company has expected earnings growth of 16.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 2.3% over the last 60 days.

BioDelivery Sciences International Inc.is a specialty pharmaceutical company, which engages in the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products in the United States and internationally. The company has expected earnings growth of 80.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 33.3% over the last 60 days.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


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Atlantic Power Corporation (AT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Middlesex Water Company (MSEX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BDSI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Illumina, Inc. (ILMN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NexPoint Residential Trust, Inc. (NXRT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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