The Fed's taper dominated the headlines in August, but investors were looking for undervalued stocks, yield, and international opportunities.
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By Jeremy Glaser | 09-08-13 | 06:00 AM | Email Article

After rebounding in July, the market took a turn in August as worries about the Fed's taper dominated. The broad-based Morningstar US Market Index lost more than 3% in the month. 

Jeremy Glaser is the Markets Editor for Morningstar.com.

Decent, but far from spectacular, economic reports in the month did little to ease worries that the Fed is planning to pull back on its quantitative easing programs as soon as September. Morningstar director of economic analysis Bob Johnson described the reports as the "perfect storm" to hit both stocks and bonds. But the reports were generally strong enough that the Fed feels it has the cover to taper its purchases, but not so strong that the market could ignore the impact of rising rates. And rates did keep rising. The 10-year Treasury note was yielding 2.78% at the end of the month, up slightly from 2.74% at the beginning of August and considerably higher than the sub-2% rates seen just a few months ago.

The news out of Europe was generally better-than-expected. Strong growth in Germany seemed to have pulled the eurozone out of recession. The underlying debt and currency woes remained, but a growing economy is a sign that Europe may have the space it needs to tackle its competitiveness issues. Decent export data from China also eased fears that emerging markets were on the verge of a significant slowdown. 

Against this backdrop, what were investors checking out on Morningstar.com during the month? Below are the 25 most-viewed stock, mutual fund, and exchange-traded fund Analyst Reports in August.

 Most Viewed Stock Analyst Reports in August 2013
Name
Ticker
Moat
Star Rating
August Return
American Tower
AMT
Narrow
-1.8%
Apple
AAPL
Narrow
8.3%
Berkshire-Hathaway
BRK.A
Wide
-4.0%
Potash Corp 
POT
Wide
2.2%
General Electric
GE
Wide
-5.0%
Transocean
RIG
Narrow
-3.1%
J.C. Penney
JCP
None
-14.5%
Enbridge
ENB
Wide
-7.2%
American Elec Power
AEP
Narrow
-6.6%
IBM
IBM
Wide

-6.1%
Exxon Mobil
XOM
Wide
-6.4%
Apache
APA
Narrow

6.8%
Intel
INTC
Wide

-4.8%
Johnson & Johnson
JNJ
Wide
-6.9%
National Oilwell Varco
NOV
Wide
5.9%
ITC Holdings
ITC
Wide

-2.7%
Gilead Sciences
GILD
Narrow
-1.8%
Procter & Gamble
PG
Wide
-3.0%
Canadian Natural Res
CNQ
Narrow
-1.3%
Cenovus Energy
CVE
Narrow
-2.9%
Chevron
CVX
Narrow
-3.5%
ArcelorMittal
MT
Narrow
-1.6%
Spectra Energy
SE
Wide
-7.2%
Yamana Gold
AUY
None
8.4%
Suncor Energy
SU
Narrow
7.7%
Source: Morningstar, Return Data as of Aug. 31, Star Ratings as of Sept. 5.

Many firms from the energy and basic materials sectors were among the most researched last month. This isn't too surprising given that Morningstar's equity analysts consider these two sectors the most undervalued today.  American Tower took the most researched spot this month, as investors showed interest in one of the few moat stocks that had a Morningstar Rating of 5 stars.  Apple remained near the top of the most researched list after shares rose on news that activist investor Carl Icahn was pushing the company to buy back more stock. 

 Most Viewed Open-End Fund Analyst Reports in August 2013
Name
Ticker
Morningstar Category
Star Rating
August Return
Oakmark Intl
OAKIX
Foreign Lg Blend
-1.8%
Vanguard Wellington
VWELX
Mod Allocation
-2.2%
Vanguard Div Growth
VDIGX
Large Blend
-2.6%
Dodge & Cox Intl Stk
DODFX
Foreign Lg Blend
-2.9%
T. Rowe Cap App
PRWCX
Mod Allocation
-1.9%
T. Rowe Equity Inc
PRFDX
Large Value
-3.1%
Dodge & Cox Bal
DODBX
Mod Allocation
-2.0%
Vanguard Cap Opp
VHCOX
Large Growth
-2.1%
Vguard Selectd Value
VASVX
Mid-Cap Value
-1.8%
PCAP Oddsy Agg Grth
POAGX
Mid-Cap Growth
-0.1%
Dodge & Cox Stock
DODGX
Large Value
-2.8%
Vguard Wellesley Inc
VWINX
Cons Allocation
-1.9%
PRIMECAP Odssy Stk
POSKX
Large Blend
-1.9%
Fidelity Sm Cap Discov
FSCRX
Small Blend
-3.0%
Artisian Intl Value
ARTKX
Foreign Lg Blend
-0.7%
FPA Crescent
FPACX
Mod Allocation
-1.2%
Mairs & Power Grth
MPGFX
Large Blend
-3.4%
Dodge & Cox Income
DODIX
Interm-Term Bond
-0.5%
Fidelity Contrafund
FCNTX
Large Growth
-1.5%
TRP Short-Term Bond
PRWBX
Short-Term Bond
-0.3%
Met West Ttl Rtn Bnd
MWTRX
Interm-Term Bond
-0.4%
Vanguard Bal Index
VBINX
Mod Allocation
-2.0%
Berwyn Income
BERIX
Cons Allocation
-0.2%
Sequoia
SEQUX
Large Growth
-1.4%
Yacktman
YACKX
Large Blend
-2.0%
Source: Morningstar, Data as of Aug. 31, Star Ratings as of Sept. 5.

Investors showed interest in foreign equities in August with both  Oakmark International and  Dodge & Cox International Stock landing in the top five. Equity-focused portfolios dominated the most researched mutual funds with only a handful of fixed-income and allocation funds making the cut. 


 Most Viewed ETF Analyst Reports in August 2013
Name
Ticker
August Return
Vanguard Dividend Appreciation
VIG
-3.4%
Vanguard High Div Yield
VYM
-3.9%
Vanguard FTSE Europe
VGK
-1.3%
WisdomTree Emerg Mkt Sm Cp Div
DGS
-4.4%
Vanguard FTSE Emerg Markets
VWO
-3.1%
Vanguard REIT Index
VNQ
-6.9%
Vanguard Total Stock Market
VTI
-2.8%
Shares Gold Trust
IAU
6.0%
PowerShares Senior Loan Port
BKLN
-0.4%
Vanguard Total Inl Stock 
VXUS
-1.7%
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US
VEU
-1.7%
iShares Nasdaq Biotech
IBB
-2.1%
iShares S&P U.S. Pref Stock
PFF
-1.9%
WisdomTree Emerg Mkt Equity
DEM
-0.6%
WisdomTree Small Cap Div
DES
-5.0%
ALPS Alerian MLP
AMLP
-1.4%
Vanguard Value
VTV
-3.6%
iShares MSCI Emerg Market Min Vol
EEMV
-3.4%
PIMCO Enchanced Short Maturity
MINT
0.0%
PowerShares FTSE RAFI US 1000
PRF
-3.4%
PowerShares FTSE RAFI US 1500
PRFZ
-3.3%
SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate
RWO
-5.2%
iShares MSCI EAFE
EFA
-5.2%
JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index
AMJ
-2.5%
SPDR Gold Shares
GLD
6.1%
Source: Morningstar, Data as of Aug. 31.

The continued search for income was very evident among the most researched ETFs in August. Three out of the top four researched securities were dividend funds. The strong performance of gold funds didn't go unnoticed in the month, with both
 iShares Gold Trust  and  SPDR Gold Shares landing in the top 25. There was also continued interest in less mainstream asset classes such as master limited partnerships, bank loans, and commercial real estate. 

Securities mentioned in this article

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Jeremy Glaser does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.
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