While the media keeps putting the fear of Europe in you, stocks have bounced handily with the DJIA having bounced some 600 points in the last week and a half. Amazingly, some stocks are hitting all-time highs. Many are defensive stocks but some are not defensive at all.
American Capital Agency Corporation (NASDAQ: AGNC) is nothing short of amazing. This is one of the high-yielding mortgage REITs that pays well into double-digit dividend yields. This sector is extremely risky if a rising rate environment ever comes back, but now this is a new high and the market value is an amazing $10 billion. If this is not a ‘risk-on!’ trade betting on the strength of mortgages then nothing else is.
American States Water Company (NYSE: AWR) is a small cap water utility worth only $716 million. It is proving that water still is a theme which works and it pays out 3% or so in dividend yields. Oh, and analysts see this one going north of $41 versus the $38.10 price and versus the $38.00 prior high. This company has been public since the early 1990s and the chart does not reflect all-time highs due to the high being a dividend-adjusted high.
Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) is now the winner of all biotechs when it comes to MS drugs. And a 3.5% rally to $139.00 eclipses the old high of $138.49. Biogen Idec is worth over $33 billion now and has become one massive turnaround. This is an all-time high that is not even on strong volume.
Dollar stores galore… Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) and Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) both hit all-time highs today. This is amazing considering that Dollar General just conducted a secondary offering. These two companies are now approaching $30 billion in market capitalization combined. It is VERY hard to celebrate the rise of dollar stores because this goes along with the secular growth of the trade-down economy. By the way, these two are ones we recently highlighted which need to adopt dividend strategies. Oh, and go ahead and add in Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) in at an all-time high too!
Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN) is a private equity post-IPO which owns the Dunkin Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands. This outfit is now worth almost $4.2 billion and shares hit almost $35 today and that is up almost 50% from the post-IPO lows in the last year. Isn’t there a war on against fat and sugar?
Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB) has proven to be the defensive stock of choice and it was a stock we said to own for the next decade. It is a very defensive stock due to being in consumer products and it still yields about 3.6% even at all-time highs. Shares are now above $82.00. Investors should at least notice that the consensus analyst price target is $78.00.
LivePerson Inc. (NASDAQ: LPSN) seems almost baffling that it is at a high. The company makes live “Help Desks” that offer text chat on websites for customers to inquire about products and services. The market value is no longer small-cap as it just broke above $1 billion in market value and shares hit $18.83 after a prior high of $18.55.
Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) operates off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores and now its market cap is nearing $15 billion. The new high is $65.94 and this stock is up nearly 100% from the lows over the last year.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) is one we expect to raise its dividend yet again later this year. Still, with it involved in broadcast media, movies, theme parks, and merchandise, you might wonder just how this is at an all-time high. Its market value is now over $84 billion!
JON C. OGG