International opportunities, income, and M&A activity were on investors' minds in September.
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By Jeremy Glaser | 10-13-13 | 06:00 AM | Email Article

Stocks rebounded in September, with the S&P 500 gaining more than 3% after slipping 3% in August.

The big news in the month was the Fed's surprise decision not to taper its bond purchases at its September meeting. The central bank had been preparing the markets for months that it was likely to begin taking its foot off the accelerator a bit. But worries about the fiscal situation and a downgraded growth forecast had the Fed staying put. The stock market soared on the announcement before pulling back slightly. Treasury bonds also rallied in the month. The yield on the 10-year bond started the month at 2.86% and climbed to nearly 3.00% before falling to 2.64%. 

Jeremy Glaser is the Markets Editor for Morningstar.com.

Economic news pointed to continued slow, but reasonably steady, growth in the month. Inflation remained very low, consumer spending was more of a mixed picture, and there were some signs from retailers about softness through the holiday season. Morningstar director of economic analysis Bob Johnson still sees the data as consistent with 2.00%-2.25% GDP growth

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 September.

 Most Viewed Stock Analyst Reports in September 2013
Name
Ticker
Moat
Star Rating
September Return
Express Scripts
ESRX
Wide
-3.3%
Apple
AAPL
Narrow
-2.1%
Microsoft
MSFT
Wide
-0.4%
Enbridge
ENB
Wide
1.9%
Kinder Morgan Ptns
KMP
Wide
-2.1%
Rogers 
RCI
Narrow
9.7%
Coca-Cola
KO
Wide
-0.1%
General Electric
GE
Wide
4.1%
Vodafone
VOD
Narrow
8.7%
Kinder Morgan
KMI
Wide

-6.2%
Clorox
CLX
Narrow
-1.2%
Baxter Intl
BAX
Wide

-4.9%
Exelon 
EXC
Wide

-2.8%
National Oilwell Varco
NOV
Wide
5.5%
Berkshire Hathaway
BRK.B
Wide
2.1%
Potash Corp
POT
Wide

5.5%
Abbott Labs
ABT
Narrow
-0.4%
Halcon Resources
HK
None

-6.7%

Applied Materials
AMAT
Wide
16.8%
Canadian Natural
CNQ
Narrow
3.1%
Exxon Mobil
XOM
Wide
-1.3%
J.C. Penney
JCP
None
-29.4%
IBM
IBM
Wide
1.6%
AT&T
T
Narrow
0.0%
Verizon 
VZ
Narrow
-1.5%
Source: Morningstar, Return Data as of Sept. 30, Star Ratings as of Oct. 3.

As a whole, stocks were higher in the month, but Morningstar.com readers showed plenty of interest in shares that had sold off in September. The most researched firm,  Express Scripts , came under pressure as fears about health-care reform mounted. Our analysts think these worries are overblown and still see significant opportunity in this wide-moat firm

 J.C. Penney landed in the top 25 as its shares plummeted nearly 30% after the company had a major equity issuance to raise cash to help firm up the troubled retailer's financial position.

The $130 billion  Verizon Communications paid  Vodafone for the 45% stake of Verizon Wireless that it didn't already own put both of these firms in the spotlight in September. Canadian telecom  Rogers Communications also popped onto the list after Verizon's move to buy its wireless unit meant that it wouldn't bid for spectrum to enter the Canadian market.

 Most Viewed Open-End Fund Analyst Reports in September 2013
Name
Ticker
Morningstar Category
Star Rating
September Return
Vanguard Div Growth
VDIGX
Large Blend
3.1%
Oakmark Intl
OAKIX
Foreign Lg Blend
7.0%
Dodge & Cox Intl Stk
DODFX
Foreign Lg Blend
8.1%
Vanguard Wellington
VWELX
Mod Allocation
2.3%
T. Rowe Health Sci
PRHSX
Health
5.8%
Vanguard Convert Sec
VCVSX
Convertibles
3.2%
Yacktman
YACKX
Large Blend
1.2%
Dodge & Cox Stock
DODGX
Large Value
4.4%
FPA Crescent
FPACX
Mod Allocation
2.0%
Vanguard Sel Value
VASVX
Mid-Cap Value
5.0%
Dodge & Cox Income
DODIX
Interm-Term Bond
0.8%
PRIMECAP Oddsy Ag Gr
POAGX
Mid-Cap Growth
6.7%
Vguard Wellesley Inc
VWINX
Cons Allocation
1.6%
Vanguard Cap Opp
VHCOX
Large Growth
5.5%
Artisan Intl Value
ARTKX
Foreign Lg Blend
5.1%
T. Rowe Cap App
PRWCX
Mod Allocation
2.2%
Dodge & Cox Bal
DODBX
Mod Allocation
3.1%
PIMCO Total Return
PTTRX
Interm-Term Bond
1.8%
Fidelity High Income
SPHIX
High Yield Bond
1.0%
Vang Hgh-Yld Tax Exmpt
VWAHX
Muni Ntl Interm
1.0%
Met West Ttl Rtn Bnd
MWTRX
Interm-Term Bond
2.6%
Vanguard PRIMECAP 
VPMCX
Large Growth
5.0%
PRIMECAP Oddsy Stk
POSKX
Large Blend
3.6%
Fidelity Sel Biotech
FBIOX
Health
8.9%
Sequoia
SEQUX
Large Growth
4.6%
Source: Morningstar, Data as of Sept. 30, Star Ratings as of Oct. 3.

Foreign large-blend funds had a great month. The category returned nearly 7%, and two Gold-rated funds,  Oakmark International (now closed to new investors) and  Dodge & Cox International Stock landed in the top three most researched funds. 

Income remained a top priority for fund investors. Interest was high in core income-focused funds such as  Vanguard Dividend Growth and more specialty products like  Vanguard Convertible Securities


 Most Viewed ETF Analyst Reports in September 2013
Name
Ticker
September Return
Vanguard Dividend Appreciation
VIG
3.8%
Vanguard Total Stock Market
VTI
3.7%
Vanguard High Div Yield
VYM
2.3%
WisdomTree Emerg Mkt Sm Cp Div
DGS
7.2%
Vanguard FTSE Emerg Markets
VWO
7.1%
Vanguard FTSE Developed Mkts
VEA
7.5%
Vanguard FTSE Europe
VGK
6.9%
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US
VEU
7.2%
WisdomTree Emerging Mkt Equity
DEM
7.0%
iShares Barclays TIPS Bond
TIP
1.5%
Vanguard Growth 
VUG
4.8%
Vanguard Small Cap
VB
5.7%
Vanguard Consumer Stpls
VDC
1.6%
PowerShares Sr Loan Port
BKLN
0.1%
WisdomTree SmallCap Div
DES
5.7%
Vanguard Energy
VDE
2.5%
Vanguard REIT Index
VNQ
3.3%
Financial Select Sector SPDR
XLF
2.8%
JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index
AMJ
2.2%
ALPS Alerian MLP
AMLP
1.7%
iShares Core S&P Small-Cap
IJR
6.2%
Vanguard Total Bnd Mkt
BND
1.0%
iShares Nasdaq Biotech
IBB
8.2%
Vanguard Extended Mkt Index
VXF
6.0%
Vanguard Info Tech
VGT
3.9%
Source: Morningstar, Data as of Sept. 30.

 Vanguard Dividend Appreciation retained is most researched ETF crown in September. Investors also had a strong appetite for foreign-equity funds as  Vanguard FTSE Europe ,  WisdomTree Emerging Markets SmallCap Dividend  and  Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets were among the most researched. ETF asset-flows data also revealed interest in international-equity ETFs with an estimated $12.8 billion flowing into these funds versus $11.8 billion into U.S.-equity ETFs.

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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