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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alphabet, Fastenal, Tyson Foods, Clorox and Kellogg

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 05, 2016 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), Fastenal Company (FAST), Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN), The Clorox Company (CLX) and Kellogg Company (K).

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Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

3 Boring Stocks That Are Great Buys for April

Following a weak start to the year, markets have posted strong returns last month. Gains have come on the back of two major factors, a decline in rate hike fears and resurgence in oil prices. Stocks gained again on the first trading day of the month, raising hopes of better times ahead.

However, concerns continue to linger just beneath the surface, even though they are being ignored at this point in time. This is why it is necessary to pick stocks from stolid, safe sectors which may look boring but provide resilience if volatility recurs.

Strong March Performance

An increase in oil prices was one of the major reasons for last month’s remarkable performance. Rising possibilities of a production freeze, a weaker-than-expected rise in crude inventories and a decline in the oil rig count played major roles in boosting oil prices.

Meanwhile, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to keep interest rates flat at between 0.25% and 0.50% and its new forecast reduced the number of rate hikes likely this year from four to two. Data on job additions and GDP also remained promising.

Oil, Economic Worries Persist

However, familiar concerns continue to persist beneath the surface. The FOMC also mentioned last month that "global and financial developments continue to pose risks," which was one of the primary reasons why it did not hike rates. Additionally, the committee reduced its forecast for economic growth and offered an inflation rate outlook for this year which was weaker than that expected earlier.

Meanwhile, the future of an agreement on a possible oil production freeze among major producers continues to remain tenuous. WTI and Brent Crude have lost 7% and 3% last week. Meanwhile, an important member of Saudi Arabia’s oil family said last Friday that it will freeze production only if other large producers, including Iran also do so.

Additionally, dismal manufacturing data emerged from Japan. U.S. economic data continued to remain mixed in nature. While employment and manufacturing reports showed gains, construction spending and auto sales data were disappointing.

Essential Building Blocks

One way of guarding against a market reversal is to invest in stolid yet dependable industries. Boring at first glance, these companies deliver steady, even impressive returns. Of course, corporate history is littered with companies which no longer dominate the mindscape of investors. Old world advertising has fallen by the way side as Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) and its ilk has taken control through the power of digital advertising. Innovation has reduced the importance of these names significantly.

However, some businesses are insulated against innovation to a great degree or can resist it for significant periods of time. This includes such names as Fastenal Company (FAST) and Balchem Corp., the first of which is in the business of nuts and bolts. Meanwhile, the second sells products which provide nutrition to livestock. They continue to perform appreciably well and have literally stood the test of time.

Our Choices

Despite strong market performance in recent times, it may still be necessary to insulate your portfolio against possible volatility. One of the ways of doing this is investing in so called boring stocks which have provided significant returns over long periods.

At the same time, it is important to select companies which can provide significant returns over the short term as well. We have narrowed down our search based on a good Zacks Rank and other relevant metrics.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN) produces, distributes and markets chicken, beef, pork, prepared foods and allied products.

Tyson Foods has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and projected growth for the current year is 25.3%. Its earnings estimate for the current year has improved by 9.3% over the last 30 days.

The Clorox Company (CLX) is engaged in the production, marketing and sale of consumer products in the U.S. and international markets.

Clorox has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and projected growth for the current year is 7.4%. Its earnings estimate for the current year has improved by 1.2% over the last 30 days.

Kellogg Company (K) manufactures and markets ready-to-eat cereals and convenience foods (including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods), and savory snacks.

Kellogg has a Zacks Rank #2 and projected growth for the current year is 4.5%. Its earnings estimate for the current year has improved by 0.4% over the last 30 days.

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ALPHABET INC-A (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
FASTENAL (FAST): Free Stock Analysis Report
TYSON FOODS A (TSN): Free Stock Analysis Report
CLOROX CO (CLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
KELLOGG CO (K): Free Stock Analysis Report
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