After you receive this Alert, we will make the following trades:
-- Sell 75 shares of AMN Healthcare (AMN) at or near $126.75. Following the trade, AAP will own 1,060 AMN shares, accounting for roughly 4.0% of the portfolio.
-- Buy 225 shares of Verizon (VZ) at or near $37.40. Following the trade, AAP will own 2,560 VZ shares, accounting for roughly 2.85% of the portfolio.
The portfolio's position in AMN shares has been a champ of late, rising sharply from their close of $107.7 on Oct. 20 to the current share price, a move of 18% vs. the 1.7% move in the S&P 500 over the same time frame. That outperformance contributed to AMN shares becoming the largest position in the portfolio at 4.26%.
As we've increasingly seen in recent days, the market is becoming increasingly finicky with companies' earnings reports and guidance. Reviewing public hospital company earnings reports as well as those for other healthcare companies continue to point to staffing issues. We saw that in the September JOLTs data as well and that leads us to think AMN will report a solid quarter after today's market close.
So why are we modestly trimming back the position heading into that report? One, it's the prudent thing to do given the current market mood and the run-up in the shares, which runs the risk of AMN having to deliver a "priced to perfection" earnings report and guidance. As we make the trade we would mention AMN will remain the portfolio's largest position, with PepsiCo (PEP) in second place.
Second, we will use the proceeds to take a small bite at Verizon shares. As we discussed on yesterday's November Members-Only Monthly Call, the dividend yield with VZ shares is compelling, especially given the nature of its business model and its strong balance sheet vs. AT&T (T) . Following Fed Chair Powell's comments yesterday, the stock market is likely to remain volatile for longer than previously expected. In that environment, we like the consistency of Verizon's business and won't complain at all about the quarterly dividend payments.
Following up on that volatility comment, what we've seen of late bodes very well for Cboe Global Markets (CBOE) September quarter earnings report tomorrow. As a reminder, options volume has been setting new records over the last few months and we see the use of those instruments continuing in this bear market.
(Please note that we are looking to execute these trades at or near the share price mentioned above. Once the trade is completed, subscribers can see the trade's executed price here. Be sure to toggle the chart to sort by Purchase Date.)