Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now

On Tuesday, our Elite Opportunity Pronewsletter suggested small cap semiconductor equipment & testing stock FormFactor, Inc (NASDAQ: FORM) as a short term long trade thats a pure small cap play with excellent valuation metrics, in addition to some very attractive chart implications right now:

Furthermore, based on what we’re seeing technically, the stock also appears to be in the earlier stages of a major thrusting pattern, one that could last for quite some time in a market environment like this.

We’re assuming even if the stock pulls back modestly over the next few days, the potential pullback should serve as enough of a catapult to position traders in a way that will allow the opportunity for excellent upside ahead, while also allowing for a protective SSL in an effort to maximize gains, while minimizing any potential loss. In other words, the risk/reward right now looks pretty good.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Fluor Corporation(FLR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By David Zeiler]

    Construction stocks Fluor (NYSE: FLR) and Granite Construction Inc. (NYSE: GVA) both rose about 8%; Vulcan Materials Co. (NYSE: VMC) jumped nearly 10%.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Flour (FLR) suffered the biggest drop in the S&P 500 today after missing earnings forecasts and cutting its full year guidance.

    Getty Images

    Shares of Fluor dropped 14% to $44.80 today, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.2% to 2,085.18.

    MKM Partners’ Daniel Scott explains what happened:

    Fluor reported 3Q16 earnings of $0.03/share, including a big charge.Fluor reported earnings of $0.03, compared to our $0.88/share estimate and consensus of $0.87/share. The results were adversely impacted by an after-tax charge of $154 million, or $1.10/share for estimated cost increases on the CPChem ethylene cracker project. Without the charge, the quarter would have been a solid $1.13/share, which included some positive factors like low SG&A expenses. Full-year guidance for 2016 as a result was lowered yet again, now $2.20- 2.40/share compared to previous guidance of $3.25-3.50/share.

    Initial 2017 guidance disappoints. The company expects to encounter continued challenges in its commodity focused segment, and gave initial 2017 guidance of $2.75- 3.25/share. This compares to our previous estimate of $3.50/share and consensus of $3.46/share. Long the blue-chip name in the E&C space,Fluor has been particularly vulnerable to energy/commodity weakness, lowering guidance each call this year. Management sees a “lower for longer” commodity cycle continuing, which is resulting in customers seeking lower prices with higher risk transfer and some competitors displaying some irrational bidding behavior. Furthermore, the company sees continued delays in expected awards into 2017 and a lower win rate as they stick to their disciplined approach.

    Fluor’s market capitalization fell to $6.2 billion from $7.2 billion yesterday.

    In September, Pacific Crest included Fluor in a list of “four cautious engineering, construction picks.“

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(MACK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MACK) dropped 9% on Thursday to post a new 52-week low of $3.72 after closing at $4.09 on Wednesday. Volume was more than double the daily average of about 3 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MACK) dropped about 19% on Wednesday to post a new 52-week low of $4.35 against a 52-week high of $9.02 and a Tuesday close of $5.37. Volume of nearly 11 million was more than 3 times the daily average of around 3.4 million. The company said this morning that it is ending its breast cancer treatment study.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MACK) dropped 8.9% on Friday to post a new 52-week low of $3.46 after closing at $3.80 on Thursday. Volume was more than double the daily average of about 3.2 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MACK) dropped nearly 11% on Tuesday to post a new 52-week low of $3.30 after closing at $3.67 on Monday. Volume was more than 3 times the daily average of about 3.7 million shares. The stock’s 52-week high is $9.02 The company said Tuesday that it has sold some of its cancer drugs to Ipsen for $1 billion.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: The Michaels Companies, Inc.(MIK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    We rate MICHAELS COS INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been weak operating cash flow. 

  • [By Jim Cramer]

    42.37% is the gross profit margin for MICHAELS COS INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of MIK’s high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 6.57% trails the industry average.

    MICHAELS COS INC has improved earnings per share by 19.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.70 versus $1.04).


  • [By JPMorgan]

    MIK’s results over the past year point to the company’s success in improving merchandising, marketing, and in-store execution plus the benefits of having a functioning e-commerce website. We believe part of the challenge for the bears is both a lack of appreciation for the category as well as missing the historical context of how leadership has evolved. Indeed, the difference in focus on "the front end" under CEO Chuck Rubin (who arrived in 2013) vs. a more process-oriented and margin-focused CEO prior to his arrival left a lot of impactful, low hanging fruit opportunities. Finally, while we acknowledge that longer term the sustainable comp is lower than the recent ~4% underlying trend, we point to the low volatility of sales, high cash generative nature of the business, barriers to entry (e.g., high SKU density, low inventory turns, lack of brands), and MIK’s market leadership as reasons why the multiple has the potential to expand over time (a la AZO). Balance sheet de-levering should also make the PE look increasingly cheap over time and transfer cash/value to equity holders. 

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Michaels Companies Inc (NASDAQ: MIK) reported better-than-expected results for its fiscal fourth quarter.

    Michaels Companies posted quarterly earnings of $183.7 million, or $0.87 per share, compared to $146.4 million, or $0.75 per share, in the year-ago period.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Guggenheim’sJohn Heinbockel and team argue that a “purging of space is necessary” in retail, and recommend hiding in “industry leaders who canprofitably gain share and are not especially expensive,” like Michaels (MIK), Tractor Supply (TSCO), Restoration Hardware (RH), Kroger (KR),and US Foods Holding (USFD). They explain:

  • [By Jim Cramer]

    After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that MIK’s price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don’t lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.


Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: China Automotive Systems, Inc.(CAAS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    China Automotive Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAAS) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.20 per share on revenue of $108.22 million.

    Affimed NV (NASDAQ: AFMD) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.18 per share on revenue of $1.71 million.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Leucadia National Corporation(LUK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Michael Hooper]

    When compared with similar companies, Berkshire Hathaway carries a premium over Markel (NYSE: MKL  ) , valued at 1.15 times book value and a 20 forward P/E ratio; and Leucadia National (NYSE: LUK  ) , valued at 1.10 times book value and a 7.16 trailing P/E.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Lee offers 22 stocks that could benefit from the correlation trade: Western Digital (WDC), Xerox (XRX), First Solar, Ford Motor, Best Buy (BBY), PulteGroup (PHM), AutoNation (AN), Textron (TXT), Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC), Mosaic, BB&T (BBT), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB),Loews (L), Regions Financial (RF), KeyCorp (KEY), Comerica (CMA), Leucadia National (LUK), Zions Bancorp (ZION), Valero Energy (VLO), Marathon Oil, Cardinal Health (CAH), and Pepco Holdings (POM).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    We delved into Kraft Heinz’s (KHC) earnings beat, and explained the impact of Leucadia National’s (LUK) investment in National Beef on its earnings.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund(SOXX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows Marvell Technology Group peaking in early 2015 while peerSTMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM) hasnt performed much better and ETF benchmarks SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (NYSEARCA: XSD) and iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector (NASDAQ: SOXX) have performed better:

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Valmont Industries, Inc.(VMI)

Advisors’ Opinion:


    In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Masco (MAS) , American Electric Power (AEP) and Valmont Industries (VMI) .

    Cramer was bearish on Wisconsin Energy (WEC) .

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Amgen Inc.(AMGN)

Advisors’ Opinion:


    That’s why Cramer said he’ll be listening for news coming from Celgene (CEL) , Amgen (AMGN) , Allergan (AGN) , an Action Alerts PLUS holding, and Regenron (REGN) , all of which are set to present. Of the four, Cramer said he’s sticking with Allergan and Amgen.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest increase to 7.78 million shares from the previous level of 7.38 million. Shares closed most recently at $145.34, in a 52-week trading range of $133.64 to $176.85.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Catalysts remain significant for the biotech industry: The biotech industry
    obviously remains open to swings given the political landscape. That said,
    fundamental catalysts for new drugs are also beginning to favor biotech again
    with PCSK9 outcomes studies, new drug launches from Regeneron (REGN), Amgen (AMGN) and Biogen (BIIB) possible in 2017 and key PhIII readouts for Celgene (CELG) and Incyte (INCY) in 2017.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Marathon Petroleum Corporation(MPC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    During the past three months, Valero Energy (VLO) has fallen 7.3%, Marathon Petroleum (MPC) has dropped 17% and Tesoro (TSO) has plunged 21%. Phillips 66 (PSX) is off 13% during that period, while HollyFrontier (HFC) is down 7.7%.

  • [By Manikandan Raman]

    “[W]e see limited upside, especially if/when refining margins rebound and offer greater valuation growth potential to its large-cap peers (Tesoro Corporation (NYSE: TSO), Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO), Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE: MPC) that are currently trading at steeper discounts,” analyst Paul Cheng wrote in a note.

  • [By Garrett Cook]

    Lastly, Citi says Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC) and MPLX LP (NYSE: MPLX) remain Buy rated the heels of benefits derived from strong product demand and the NGL recovery.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    JPMorgan analyst Phil Gresh and team explain what they got wrong about Marathon Petroleum (MPC), as they cut its rating to Neutral from Overweight following yesterday’s disastrous financial results from MPLX (MPLX):

    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    We (somewhat painfully) downgradeMarathon Petroleum to Neutral from Overweight, cut our Dec-16 price target to $44 (from $62) and remove the stock from our Analyst Focus List. When we upgradedMarathon Petroleum back in August, our view had been that it was being (1) given no credit for the high likelihood that the MPLX/MWE deal would close and related GP cash flow potential, and (2) overly punished for a weak refining 2Q result. The stock subsequently rallied into the analyst day, as these two catalysts played out. However, at the analyst day, which ended up being the peak stock price, capex guidance was well above expectations and shares began to fade. We defended the stock (click here) on a cheap sustaining FCF yield and a favorable longer-term growth opportunity set, but noted that MPLX was the key to the story (retrospectively, we may have been suffering from some thesis creep). Since that time, the MLP market has further melted down and MPLXs pro forma volume g rowth opportunities have slowed, driven by weaker fundamentals at the recently acquired MWE. We figured there was some risk that MPLX could cut its distribution growth outlook; however, we thought that this was largely embedded in MPC shares at $40. We did not anticipate that management would halve its 2016 growth outlook and defer all 2017+ commitments, leading to a more than halving of our GP distribution outlook for 2019E (now only $460mm, down from $1.06B). Making matters worse,Marathon Petroleum may now be on the hook to provide even more support to MPLX (we estimate up to $500mm in 2016E beyond the marine dropdown), just to keep MPLX at ~4x leverage (assuming no additional reductions in the EBITDA targets). Finally, on a conso

  • [By Shauna O’Brien]

    Credit Suisse announced on Tuesday that it has cut its rating on Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC).

    The firm has downgraded MPC from “Outperform” to “Neutral” as refining capture continues to be low.

    Marathon Petroleum shares were mostly flat during pre-market trading Tuesday. The stock is up 10% YTD.

  • [By John Divine]

    Lastly, oil refiner Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC  ) was one of the S&P’s worst performers for a second straight session, losing 2.2%. Yesterday, Simmons & Company said refiners in general, and Marathon in particular, would struggle with higher prices of oil pressuring margins. Credit Suisseechoed that sentiment today, citing narrowing spreads as it downgraded shares from outperform to neutral. The flipside to the recent negativity surrounding refiners is that if oil prices start unexpectedly falling, Marathon shares could be primed for a rally.

Top 10 Safest Stocks To Own Right Now: Uni-Pixel, Inc.(UNXL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of UniPixel Inc (NASDAQ: UNXL) were down 22 percent to $1.63 after the company announced a public offering of newly issued shares of stock. UniPixel plans to offer 5.35 million shares of its own stock at a public offering price of $1.50 per share with the option for its underwriters to purchase up to an additional 802,500 shares.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Uni-Pixel (UNXL) manufactures electronic film products using its proprietary manufacturing process, UniBoss. This stock closed up 7.6% to $16.84 in Monday’s trading session.

    Monday’s Volume: 1.88 million

    Three-Month Average Volume: 1 million

    Volume % Change: 108%

    From a technical perspective, UNXL bounced sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $15.89 with above-average volume. This stock looks to be forming a double bottom chart pattern at $14.91 to $15.16. If that bottom holds, then shares of UNXL could see a continuation of Monday’s upside action.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UNXL as long as it’s trending above $15.16 or $14.91 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday’s high of $17.53 with volume that hits near or above 1 million shares. If we get that move soon, then UNXL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at its 200-day moving average of $19.89.