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Sabrient Quantitative Investment Research

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News & Announcements - 2018                                         USER GUIDE

6-21-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, June 22, 2018
    BUY:  ArcBest Corporation (ARCB)
    SELL:  XL Group Ltd (XL)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

6-20-18:  Baker's Dozen Portfolio for June 2018 Has Launched
The June 2018 Sabrient Baker's Dozen UIT Portfolio (FRWLTX)was launched by First Trust Portfolios on June 20, 2018. This portfolio, like all Baker's Dozen portfolios, comprises 13 top-ranked stocks from a cross-section of market caps and industries based on our GARP approach, i.e., growth at a reasonable price. Sabrient believes each of these stocks is positioned to perform well for the next 13 months. The portfolio will terminate on July 22, 2019. For more information and a fact sheet please visit First Trust Portfolios.

6-19-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

6-7-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, June 8, 2018
    BUY:  The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV)
    SELL:  Tech Data Corporation (TECD)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

6-7-18: First Sabrient International Opportunity Portfolio Launched
A new Sabrient UIT series – the Sabrient International Opportunity Portfolio – was launched by First Trust on June 7, 2018. The International Opportunity Portfolio invests in international stocks that represent a diversification of countries, sectors and industries, stocks that Sabrient believes are positioned to perform well in the coming 15 months. They are GARP stocks – stocks that Sabrient believes represent growth at a reasonable price – and they are meant to be held for the full 15-month term of the trust. The portfolio will terminate on September 9, 2019. For a fact sheet or prospectus, please visit FirstTrustPortfolios.com.

6-5-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

6-5-18:  Sector Detector: Fundamental strength overcomes new macro worries as Tech and small caps lead
by Scott Martindale
President, Sabrient Systems

The month of May turned out to be pretty decent for stocks overall, with the S&P 500 large caps up about +2%, with growth greatly outperforming value, and June has got off to a good start, as well. But the smaller caps were the bigger stars, as I have been predicting for several months, with the S&P 600 small caps up +6% for the month. Even after a volatile April, and even though the headlines on trade wars, oil prices, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Italy, et al were confusing if not frightful, and even though technical signals suggested overbought conditions and a likely pullback, investors have been reluctant to sell their equities and the late-month pullback was fleeting.

Nevertheless, many commentators are offering up lots of reasons why further upside is limited and stocks likely will turn tail into a downtrend, including political contagion in the EU, the US dollar strengthening too much such that overseas corporate profits take a hit, and yields rising too quickly such that they 1) burden a heavily-leveraged economy and 2) suppress stock prices by spiking the risk-free rate used in a discounted cash flow analysis. But I think the main thing weighing on investors' minds right now is fear that things are "as good as it gets" when it comes to synchronized global growth, monetary and fiscal stimulus, and year-over-year growth in corporate earnings. In other words, now that the hope and optimism for strong growth actually has materialized into reality, there is nothing more to look forward to, so to speak. The year-over-year EPS comparisons won't be so eye-popping. Earnings growth inevitably will slow, higher interest rates will suppress valuations, and P/E compression will set in.

However, recall that the so-called "taper tantrum" a few years ago led to similar investor behavior, but then eventually cooler heads prevailed as investors realized that the fundamental picture was strong and in fact extraordinary monetary accommodation was no longer necessary (or even desirable). Similarly, I think there is still plenty of fuel in the tank from tax reform, deregulation, and new corporate and government spending plans, offering up the potential to drive strong growth for at least the next few years (e.g., through revived capex, onshoring of overseas capital and operations, and M&A). Read more at Scott Martindale's blog

5-30-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

5-24-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, May 25, 2018
    BUY:  Voya Financial, Inc. (VOYA)
    SELL:  KB Home (KBH)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

5-22-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

5-21-18:  New Rising Rate Portfolio Launched
A new Sabrient Rising Rate Portfolio (FRWNZX) -- the 8th in the series -- was launched by First Trust Portfolios on May 21, 2018. Historically, certain stocks have outperformed the market in periods during which longer-term Treasury bonds have rising yields, and Sabrient believes 10-year and longer Treasury yields are likely to rise over the next several years. The Sabrient Rising Rate Portfolio is a unit investment trust that seeks to find companies that Sabrient believes are positioned to perform well in environments of rising Treasury yields. The portfolio will terminate on May 21, 2020. For a fact sheet or prospectus, please visit First Trust Portfolios.

5-18-18:  Baker's Dozen Portfolio for May 2018 Launched
The May 2018 Sabrient Baker's Dozen UIT Portfolio (FGUDMX)was launched by First Trust Portfolios on May 18, 2018. This portfolio, like all Baker's Dozen portfolios, comprises 13 top-ranked stocks from a cross-section of market caps and industries based on our GARP approach, i.e., growth at a reasonable price. Sabrient believes each of these stocks is positioned to perform well for the next 13 months. The portfolio will terminate on June 20, 2019. For more information and a fact sheet please visit First Trust Portfolios.

5-15-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

5-10-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, May 11, 2018
    BUY (RENEW):  Winnebago Industries, Inc. (WGO)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

5-8-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

5-3-18:  Sector Detector: Rising 10-year yield puts investors on pause despite robust earnings
by Scott Martindale
President, Sabrient Systems

Rather than living up to its history as one of the best months for stocks, April proved to be a disappointment this year despite robust year-over-year Q1 corporate earnings growth of roughly +20%. But there were some interesting developments nonetheless. In spite of investors' apparent desire to start rotating away from the mega-cap Tech leaders and the Momentum factor into the neglected market opportunities, it is clear that some of the FAANG juggernauts still matter . . . and wield plenty of clout. Witness the market's reaction to Facebook (FB), Amazon.com (AMZN), and Apple (AAPL) earnings announcements as each dazzled beyond expectation. Nevertheless, I think the fledgling trend away from a narrow list of market leaders and into a broader group of high-growth market segments with more compelling forward valuations will soon resume. Likewise, while I still think full-year 2018 ultimately will see a double-digit total return on the market-cap-weighted S&P 500, with the index closing the year north of 3,000 on the back of historic earnings growth (even with some P/E compression), I also think a well-selected portfolio of attractive "growth at a reasonable price" (GARP) stocks has the potential to perform even better.

This is what we at Sabrient seek to do with our proprietary GARP model, including our monthly all-cap Baker's Dozen portfolios, as well as portfolios for small cap growth, dividend income, defensive equity, and stocks that tend to thrive in a rising interest-rate environment. Another way to find clues about near-term opportunities in the market is to track the buying behavior of corporate insiders and the sell-side analysts who follow the companies closely, and for that we employ our proprietary "insider sentiment" model. Also, I still like small caps to outperform this year, and indeed smalls have outperformed large caps over the first four months, with Energy, Healthcare, and Financial sectors showing the greatest relative outperformance among small caps. Read more at Scott Martindale's blog

5-1-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

4-30-18:  First Dividend Opportunity UIT Launched
The 1st portfolio in the Sabrient Dividend Opportunity UIT (Ticker: FRZWLX) was launched by First Trust Portfolios on April 27, 2018. The portfolio will terminate on July 29, 2019. This UIT seeks companies with above-average total return through a combination of capital appreciation and dividend income. The stocks are selected through an investment strategy process developed by Sabrient. The primary difference between the Dividend Opportunity portfolio and the Dividend portfolios, is the term. The Dividend Opportunity Portfolio has a 15-month term; the Dividend portfolios have a 2-year term. For more information, a prospectus, or a fact sheet on the Dividend Opportunity Portfolio, please visit First Trust Portfolios.

4-30-18:  23rd Sabrient Dividend UIT Launched
The 23nd Sabrient Dividend UIT portfolio (Ticker: FQBCAX) was launched by First Trust Portfolios on April 27, 2018. The portfolio will terminate on April 27, 2020. This UIT seeks companies with above-average total return through a combination of capital appreciation and dividend income. The stocks are selected through an investment strategy process developed by Sabrient. For more information, a prospectus, or a fact sheet, please visit First Trust Portfolios.

4-26-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, April 26, 2018
    BUY (RENEW):  Olin Corporation (OLN)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

4-24-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

4-20-18:  April 2018 Baker's Dozen Portfolio Launched
Sabrient Baker's Dozen UIT Portfolio (FAMNJX)was launched by First Trust Portfolios on April 20, 2018. This portfolio, like all Baker's Dozen portfolios, comprises 13 top-ranked stocks from a cross-section of market caps and industries based on our GARP approach, i.e., growth at a reasonable price. Sabrient believes each of these stocks is positioned to perform well for the next 13 months. The portfolio will terminate on May 20, 2019. For more information and a fact sheet please visit First Trust Portfolios.

4-17-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

4-12-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, April 13, 2018
    BUY (RENEW):  Steel Dynamics Inc. (STLD)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

4-10-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

4-6-18:  New Small Cap Growth Portfolio Launched
The 18th Sabrient Small Cap Growth UIT (FCRDLX) was launched by First Trust Portfolios on April 4, 2018. The portfolio invests in top-ranked (at the time of their selection) small-cap stocks that represent a cross-section of industries that Sabrient believes are positioned to perform well in the coming year. The stocks are GARP stocks --stocks that represent "growth at a reasonable price" -- and they are meant to be held for the full term of the trust, which terminates July 5, 2019. For a prospectus or fact sheet, please visit First Trust Portfolios.

4-4-18:  Sector Detector: Higher volatility was inevitable, but bulls still control their own destiny
by Scott Martindale
President, Sabrient Systems

After an inspiring final day of Q1 led by the usual "window dressing" of mutual fund managers, news-driven volatility returned with a vengeance on Monday before recovering some ground on Tuesday. Although I rarely trust market moves on the last day of a quarter or the first day of a new quarter, there is little doubt that market volatility is back this year, as I expected it would be. Last year, rather than enduring scary selloffs to correct imbalances, the market simply rotated into neglected market segments from time to time. This conviction to stay invested was largely due to consistent improvement in global economic fundamentals coupled with rising optimism about new fiscal stimulus -- leading to a fear of missing out. But given the passage of the tax bill and plenty of progress with deregulation last year, I expected investors this year to display more of a Missourian "show me" attitude as to what Corporate America actually would do with their newfound cash windfalls and looser regulatory noose. Would this truly spell the end of the capex recession, ushering in a new wave of onshoring, PP&E upgrades, hiring, buybacks, and M&A? For their part, sell-side analysts have been raising corporate earnings estimates at a historically fast pace.

But the proof is in the pudding, as they say, and the price run-up and elevated valuation multiples (that arose in anticipation of tax cuts and new corporate investment) were due for compression, as speculation gives way to reality, along with some "price rationalization" and deleveraging of speculative portfolios. And on top of those dynamics, the market is suddenly fretting about tariffs, trade wars, inflationary pressures, and the Fed. Nevertheless, there seems to be something for all investors to hold on to, as both fundamentalists and technicians alike should be excited by the lower valuations and successful tests of support in a climate of robust growth and corporate earnings. But I'm not talking about a return to market conditions of old, characterized by falling interest rates, slow growth, and low volatility, which rewarded passive investing in cap-weighted indexes with elevated P/E's. Instead, we likely are entering a new era, characterized by rising interest rates, faster growth, and higher volatility, which rewards sound stock-picking. Read more at Scott Martindale's blog

4-3-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

3-39-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Monday, April 2, 2018
    BUY:  US Foods Holding Corp. (USFD)
    SELL:  Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (AMP)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

3-27-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

3-20-18:  March 2018 Baker's Dozen Portfolio Launched
The March 2018 Baker's Dozen UIT Portfolio (FTCZBX))was launched by First Trust Portfolios on March 20, 2018. This portfolio, like all Baker's Dozen portfolios, comprises 13 top-ranked stocks from a cross-section of market caps and industries based on our GARP approach, i.e., growth at a reasonable price. Sabrient believes each of these stocks is positioned to perform well for the next 13 months. The portfolio will terminate on April 22, 2019. For more information and a fact sheet please visit For a prospectus or fact sheet, please visit First Trust Portfolios.

3-15-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, March 16, 2018
    BUY (RENEW):  XPO Logistics Inc. (XPO)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

3-14-18:  Sector Detector: A bull's paradise is a market looking for reasons to buy
by Scott Martindale
President, Sabrient Systems

The secular bull market that began on March 9, 2009 in the wake of the Financial Crisis just passed its ninth anniversary last Friday, and as if to celebrate, stocks rallied big on the strong reports of jobs growth, total employment, and labor participation, while wage inflation remained modest. All in all, it was a lot of great news, but instead of selling off -- as stocks have done in the past in a "good news means bad news" reaction, assuming the Fed would feel emboldened to raise rates more aggressively -- stocks rallied strongly. This is a market of investors looking for reasons to buy rather than to sell, i.e., the bulls are still in charge. Strong global fundamentals are firmly in place for the foreseeable future, while corporate earnings expectations continue to rise, inflation fears appear to have diminished, and the overall climate remains favorable for equities. After the February selloff was complete, extreme valuations had been reduced, and support levels had been tested, investors were ready to embrace good news -- albeit with some renewed caution in the wake of the recent surge in volatility. As we all learned, volatility is not dead. VIX is an oscillator that always eventually mean-reverts. This will surely result in some deleveraging, as well as perhaps some P/E compression from the run-up in valuations we saw in anticipation of the fiscal stimulus package. Read more at Scott Martindale's blog

3-13-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

3-1-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, March 2, 2018
    BUY:  T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS)
    SELL:  The Allstate Corporation (ALL)

2-27-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

2-23-18: New Rising Rate Portfolio Launched 
The 7th Sabrient Rising Rate Portfolio (FEHARX) was launched by First Trust Portfolios on February 21, 2018. Historically, certain stocks have outperformed the market in periods during which longer-term Treasury bonds have rising yields, and Sabrient believes 10-year and longer Treasury yields are likely to rise over the next several years. The Sabrient Rising Rate Portfolio is a unit investment trust that seeks to find companies that Sabrient believes are positioned to perform well in environments of rising Treasury yields. The stocks in the portfolio are selected by applying a comprehensive investment strategy developed by Sabrient. The portfolio will terminate on February 21, 2020. For a fact sheet or prospectus, please visit FirstTrustPortfolios.com

2-20-18:  February 2018 Baker's Dozen Portfolio Launched
The February 2018 Baker's Dozen UIT Portfolio (FYDZBX))was launched by First Trust Portfolios on February 20, 2018. This portfolio, like all Baker's Dozen portfolios, comprises 13 top-ranked stocks from a cross-section of market caps and industries based on our GARP approach, i.e., growth at a reasonable price. Sabrient believes each of these stocks is positioned to perform well for the next 13 months. The portfolio will terminate on March 20, 2019. For more information and a fact sheet please visit For a prospectus or fact sheet, please visit First Trust Portfolios.

2-15-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, February 16, 2018
    BUY:  The Progressive Corporation (PGR)
    SELL:  HD Supply Holdings, Inc. (HDS)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

2-14-18:  Sector Detector: Volatility suddenly returns to spook a raging bull
by Scott Martindale
President, Sabrient Systems

Many market commentators have been in a prolonged tizzy, warning of an inevitable selloff to come. And indeed we finally got one, with a huge spike in volatility. A climate of low inflation and structurally low interest rates has meant less discounting of future corporate earnings, which has allowed for higher enterprise values and stock prices. But when inflation fears suddenly popped up, investors feared an imminent repricing of equities at lower multiples. As I wrote at the start of the year, I expected some renewed volatility and compression in valuation multiples to occur during 2018, but I sure didn't expect it to happen quite so soon. However, I also said that a correction would be healthy, and that it won't necessarily be as deep of a selloff as so many investors have feared -- and I stand by that prediction...So, what is going on here? Read more at Scott Martindale's blog

2-13-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

2-3-18: 22nd Sabrient Dividend Portfolio Launched
The 22nd Sabrient Dividend UIT portfolio (Ticker: FRNUTX) was launched by First Trust Portfolios on February 2, 2018. The portfolio will terminate on February 3, 2020. This UIT seeks companies with above-average total return through a combination of capital appreciation and dividend income. The stocks are selected through an investment strategy process developed by Sabrient. For more information, a prospectus, or a fact sheet, please visit First Trust Portfolios.

2-1-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, February 2, 2018
    RENEW (BUY):  Lam Research Corporation (LRCX)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

1-30-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

1-19-18:  January 2018 Baker's Dozen Portfolio Launched
The January 2018 Baker's Dozen UIT Portfolio (FCVZLK)was launched by First Trust Portfolios on January 19, 2018. This portfolio, like all Baker's Dozen portfolios, comprises 13 top-ranked stocks from a cross-section of market caps and industries based on our GARP approach, i.e., growth at a reasonable price. Sabrient believes each of these stocks is positioned to perform well for the next 13 months. The portfolio will terminate on February 20, 2019. For more information and a fact sheet please visit For a prospectus or fact sheet, please visit First Trust Portfolios.

1-18-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, January 19, 2018
    RENEW (BUY):  PulteGroup, Inc. (PHM)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

1-17-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

1-11-18:  17th Small Cap Growth Portfolio Launched
The 17th Sabrient Small Cap Growth UIT (FMLLYX) was launched by First Trust Portfolios on January 10, 2018. The portfolio invests in top-ranked (at the time of their selection) small-cap stocks that represent a cross-section of industries that Sabrient believes are positioned to perform well in the coming year. The stocks are GARP stocks --stocks that represent "growth at a reasonable price" -- and they are meant to be held for the full term of the trust, which terminates February 10, 2019. For a prospectus or fact sheet, please visit First Trust Portfolios.

1-9-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

1-4-18:  Earnings Busters Alerts for Friday, January 5, 2018
    BUY:  Commercial Metals Company (CMC)
    SELL:  Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM)
Details are in the Earnings Busters newsletter.

1-3-18:  Weekly Stock Ratings Changes Available
This week's Stock Ratings Changes spreadsheet is available for downloading.

1-2-18:  Sector Detector: A surprisingly strong 2017 makes way for a promising 2018
by Scott Martindale
President, Sabrient Systems

The S&P 500 finished 2017 by completing an unusual feat. Not only was the index up +22% (total return), but every single month of the year saw positive performance on a total return basis, and in fact, the index is on a 14-month winning streak (Note: the previous record of 15 straight was set back in 1959!). So, as you might expect, volatility was historically low all year, with the VIX displaying an average daily closing value of 11 (versus a "fear threshold" of 15 and a "panic threshold" of 20). But some of 2017's strength was due to expansion in valuation multiples in anticipation of tax reform and lower effective tax rates boosting existing earnings, not to mention incentives for repatriating overseas cash balances, expansion, and capex. Read more at Scott Martindale's blog

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