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John Stephenson

John Stephenson is the president & CEO of Stephenson & Company. His focus is North American large caps and resource stocks.

Top Picks:

*Short* Baytex Energy (BTE.TO)
Last trade made on Aug. 13 at $11.34

-The company has seen declining production in both the US and Canada as it continues to cut back spending in response to weak oil prices.

-The company is focused primarily on conventional heavy oil which has been under even more pressure than crude oil which has declined substantially

-It's not growing and the commodity is moving in the wrong direction

*Short* Tesoro (TSO.N)
Last trade made on Aug. 14 at at $102.91

-The stock has been buoyed recently by its very strong crack spreads in California, however this strong crack spread is likely to abate later this year

-This is the start of the seasonal period where refiners shut down for maintenance and demand subsides for gasoline as the summer driving season ends.

-The stock hit record highs last week in a very weak energy environment and there are no identifiable catalysts for further growth.

Universal Health Services (UHS.N)
Last trade made on Aug. 13 at $142.26

-It beat consensus estimates this quarter and significant increased its guidance

-The company has a diversified business mix, strong balance sheet and free cash flow, and management strength

-Competes is a sector of the market that has very favourable demographics.

Past Picks: Sept. 19, 2014

General Motors (GM.N)
New comments:

-We sold our position on April 2 at $36.43

-We believe that the OEM car companies are in the 8th or 9tth inning

-The obvious catalysts for the stock had gone

-China and Europe slowing

Then: $33.94; Now: $31.71; -6.57%; Total return: -3.98%

*Short* FirstEnergy Corp (FE NYSE)
New comments:

-We sold our position on Oct. 30, 2014 at $40.32

-The position had moved against us since our recommendation

-The firm had been making better progress than anticipated in restructuring its retail business

-Investors were rotating toward more defensive names

Then: $34.62; Now: $34.65; -0.09%; Total return: -4.11%

New comments:

-We continue to hold this position

-Is the cheapest publicly listed alternative asset manager

-Their franchise is better positioned for improving global equity prices

Then: $22.55; Now: $21.90; -2.88%; Total return: +4.45%

Total Return Average: -1.21%

Market outlook:
Markets are likely to remain range-bound over the next month as they are buffeted by news from China, Greece and Brazil. With the U.S. Federal Reserve likely to raise interest rates next month, investors should use any market weakness as an opportunity to add to their favorite financial, technology and health care stocks.