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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Big 5 Sporting Goods, PCM, Tate & Lyle, Michaels and NN

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 07, 2017 – 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 Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. (NASDAQ: (BGFV - Free Report) Free Report ), PCM, Inc. (NASDAQ: (PCMI - Free Report) Free Report ), Tate & Lyle plc (OTCMKTS: (TATYY - Free Report) Free Report ), Michaels Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ: (MIK - Free Report) Free Report ) and NN, Inc. (NASDAQ: (NNBR - Free Report) Free Report ).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Low-Beta Stocks to Buy Ahead of Thursday

An unexpected decline in Apple’s stock led to losses for stocks on Monday. But even so, equities remain close to the record highs they have scaled recently. Robust earnings growth and the attractiveness of equities over bonds have ensured that markets have either created new milestones regularly or have lingered tantalizingly close to them.

But three key events scheduled to occur this week could finally spoil the party. This trifecta, scheduled to arrive almost together on Thursday, Jun 8, includes the British election, the ECB policy meeting and former FBI director James Comey’s testimony.

Since these events could drastically dent investor confidence, picking value stocks with low beta looks like a smart option at this point. Beta measures the tendency of a stock's returns to respond to market swings. Low correlation stocks provide protection during turbulent times as they are less prone to day-to-day fluctuations

Comey to Testify Before Senate Committee

On May 9, Trump discharged FBI Director James Comey an account of his ineffectiveness in handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Comey was accused of injudiciously commenting that “hundreds and thousands” of Clinton’s emails were forwarded by Clinton aide Huma Abedin to her then-husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s personal computer.

The sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey raised questions among investors about Trump’s ability to implement his pro-growth policies. Such concerns are likely to be heightened as this development continues to unfold later this week. Comey is scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday in order to present his side of the case to senators.

UK Heads for Crucial Polls

On the same day, a snap election in the United Kingdom will determine who represents its citizens in the House of Commons. At present, Prime Minister Theresa May has a narrow majority in Britain’s lower House. However, she has elected to seek a wider legislative advantage as the country prepares to negotiate its exit from the EU.

At this point, support for May’s Conservative Party is eroding rapidly. And as per indications available now, her campaign may not be proceeding as was planned. When the campaign began, the Conservatives held a lead of 18 points over Labor. However, a large part of that lead has been diminished over time.

Surveys conducted last week by several pollsters revealed that the Conservatives now have only a 6.5 point lead, similar to the 6.3 point lead it garnered during its last victory. Needless to say a defeat or even a close victory for the Conservatives could sharply increase uncertainty ahead of EU negotiations.

ECB Could Trigger Monetary Policy Shift

Finally, the ECB is scheduled to hold a policy meeting at Tallinn, Estonia, also on Jun 8. In the event that the ECB decides to change its stance on monetary policy, the Eurozone and global markets at large would have to bear the brunt of unexpected tightening.

Deutsche Bank (DB) economists have said that even if the central bank refrains from actually withdrawing stimulus measures it could signal that such actions will come in the near future. Meanwhile, two leading ECB officials from Germany stated last week that the central bank should begin to prepare itself for winding up monetary stimulus.

Our Choices

Despite the positive tone that markets have continued to retain over a record breaking rally, this trio of upcoming events could snap the chain of gains. In such an event, it would be best to add some safe bets to your portfolio in order to shore up gains.

In such a situation, it makes good sense to pick value stocks with low beta, which could protect gains made recently. Our selection is also backed by a good Zacks Value Score and Zacks Rank.

We narrowed down our choices with the help of our new style score system .

Our research shows that stocks with a Value Style Score of 'A' or 'B' when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) offer the best investment opportunities in the value investing space.

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. (NASDAQ:(BGFV - Free Report) Free Report ) is a sporting goods retailer in the western U.S.

Big 5 Sporting Goods holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and has a Value Style Score of 'A.' The stock has a beta value of 0.03. The forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) for the current financial year (F1) is 11.50, lower than the industry average of 12.75. It has a PEG ratio of 0.96, lower than the industry average of 1.13.

PCM, Inc. (NASDAQ:(PCMI - Free Report) Free Report ) is a technology solutions provider to businesses, government and educational institutions and individual consumers.

PCM holds a Value Style Score of 'B.' The stock has a beta value of 0.91 and a P/E (F1) of 10.28x, compared to the industry average of 18.32. It has a PEG ratio of 1.84, lower than the industry average of 2.07. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Tate & Lyle plc (OTCMKTS:(TATYY - Free Report) Free Report ) is a provider of solution and ingredients to the food and beverages industry worldwide.

Tate & Lyle holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) has a Value Style Score of 'A.' The stock has a beta value of 0.21 and a P/E (F1) of 14.78x, lower than the industry average of 21.67. It has a PEG ratio of 0.90, lower than the industry average of 2.37.

The Michaels Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:(MIK - Free Report) Free Report ) is a leading UK food retailer with interests in financial services.

Michaels Companies holds a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Value Style Score of 'A.' The stock has a beta value of 0.21 and a P/E (F1) of 9.20x, lower than the industry average of 12.75. It has a PEG ratio of 0.57, lower than the industry average of 1.13.

NN, Inc. (NASDAQ:(NNBR - Free Report) Free Report ) is an independent manufacturer and supplier of high quality, precision steel balls and rollers to both domestic and international anti-friction bearing manufacturers.

NN holds a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Value Style Score of 'B.' The stock has a beta value of 0.80 and a PEG ratio of 0.81, lower than the industry average of 1.13.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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