U.S. equities are off to a weak start on Friday as concerns about the global economy are seeping into the markets. Financials are lagging due to continued flattening pressure on the yield curve, which has now seen an inversion of the 10-Year and 3-month yield, and WTI Crude prices, which has been a gauge of economic expectations, are falling by about 2%.
While today's selloff is erasing many week-to-date gains, we have issued several sell Alerts this week intended to raise cash for future flexibility. As a reminder, we trimmed Amgen (AMGN) , Danaher (DHR) , Comcast (CMCSA) , Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) .
Meanwhile, the only buy on our books has been an initiation of Nvidia (NVDA) , which we called up from the bullpen one day before a key investor day conference that sent the stock into the $170s to the now low $180s. Net-net, and when excluding the $100,838 we donated to charity on Thursday (see more about this in our Alert here), we increased our cash position by roughly $25,000 in front of today's market declines.
In other news, Thursday night's "Mad Money" featured a big interview between Jim and CVS Health (CVS) CEO Larry Merlo. The two discussed the integration of Aetna, the role of the exciting HealthHUB store concept pilot in transforming the healthcare experience, and why the company's new business model has opportunities for growth - even though 2019 is expected to be a transition year. The interview can be found at the site here.
But what about the Long-Term Care business, which has incurred two multi-billion impairment charges in the past 12 months (the first before we owned shares, and a second time last quarter) due in part to financial pressure in skilled nursing facilities. As a reminder, management outlined a four-step plan on the second quarter 2018 earnings call to turn around this business. The steps included were: Implementing a new leadership team to manage Omnicare's day-to day operations, improving client rendition levels through service level initiatives, committing to cost takeout opportunities to support being a low-cost provider, and focusing on the assisted and independent living space.
Importantly, Merlo talked about changes in their "tactical execution," which focuses on the assistant and independent living space, the part of the industry that still has some attractive growth. Thanks to the changes made so far, Merlo believes the Long-Term Care business has "stabilized and will grow from this point forward."
Merlo's confidence that Long-Term Care is under control is key. If true, not only will this relieve some pressure on operating income, it also allows management to stay focused on the Aetna integration, which represents the most likely driver of positive earnings revisions in the future. CVS shares are down on Friday as it cannot escape the grips of the sell program going on, but all in, we are encouraged with CVS Health's plans to fix what has hurt the company and we reiterate that the stock is still inexpensive based on the 8.3x 2019 price-to-earnings multiple.