Not again” is the sentiment I’m hearing from investors today.So if you’re feeling about the same, take heart that you’re not alone. Last Thursday marked the steepest drop in U.S. stocks in over a month, placing the S&P 500 in the red for 2014 so far.
The drops were driven by two primary factors: (1) Worries about Russia’s posturing over Ukraine and its Crimea region and (2) Weaker-than-forecast data from China for January and February. In both cases, Wall Street is simply reacting emotionally.
I know it can be worrisome (and even difficult) to experience a market day like that. If you’re feeling nervous, the best thing you can do is sit tight in your stocks. This is not the time to make a knee-jerk reaction, like selling out of your positions. That’s the fastest way to ensure you lose. Instead, here’s what you can do:
If you subscribe to any of my newsletters, you’re already on the right track. I test and retest all of my formulas and data daily in order to recommend only the top companies in anticipation that the market would begin to narrow and have emotional swings just like we experienced today.
I consider my Buy List stocks to be the best on the market, whether you’re looking to invest in blue chips, up-and-comers, or emerging market plays. If you’re not currently a subscriber or are invested in a stock that’s not on any of my Buy Lists, not to worry. My free Portfolio Grader stock screening tool rates some 5,000 stocks by fundamental health and quantitative strength and is a great resource during times of uncertainty.
So if you’re feeling nervous, run all of your positions through Portfolio Grader and take note of their letter grades. If one is an A-, B-, or C-rated stock, you should be in good shape to continue holding it. If it is a D- or F-rated stock, you should consider selling that position into strength. Like I said, I never advocate selling in a panic, but you can wait for the market to bounce back before taking profits.
If you’re more risk tolerant, a drop is a buying opportunity. What we saw was a kneejerk reaction to news that doesn’t really affect most top companies combined with profit taking. So I’m going to go out there and take this opportunity to pick up premium stocks on the cheap and I advise you do the same.
To get you started, here are 13 of the top-rated Portfolio Grader stocks that pulled back last week: