Should You Sell These 2 Dow Stocks?

Stocks appear to be holding firm this morning after yesterday's poor performance. As of 10:10 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is roughly flat with a 0.16% gain, while the broader S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) is up 0.2%.

The micro view
Institutional money-managers who manage more than $100 million must file a 13F form detailing their holdings with the SEC within 45 days of the end of the calendar quarter. For this purpose, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYS: BRK.B) , which manages tens of billions of dollars, qualifies as a money manager. Berkshire filed its 13F for the quarter ended Sept. 30 yesterday.

Given Warren Buffett's track record, value-oriented investors naturally keep a close eye on changes in Berkshire's 13F reports, but despite the attention these reports receive, their value does not appear to have been extinguished. Two finance academics found that a portfolio that mimicked Berkshire's holdings at the beginning of the following month after they are disclosed outperformed the S&P 500 by 10.75% on an annualized basis between 1976 and 2006 (though I suspect the outperformance was stronger at the beginning of that period than at the end.)

One of the notable changes in the latest report: Berkshire has virtually eliminated its positions in General Electric (NYS: GE) and Johnson & Johnson (NYS: JNJ) . The news is surprising, as the companies are classic Buffett investments (i.e., world-class franchises), and neither looks expensive at first glance: Both trade at roughly 13 times estimates for the next 12 months' earnings. Nevertheless, the news does appear to be having an impact on Johnson & Johnson, which is down 0.27%.

Should you buy, sell, or hold GE? If you want a comprehensive answer to that question, click here to request industrial analyst Isaac Pino's premium report, which will include a full 12 months of updates.

The article Should You Sell These 2 Dow Stocks? originally appeared on

Alex Dumortier, CFA has no positions in the stocks mentioned above; you can follow him @longrunreturns. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, General Electric Company, and Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Berkshire Hathaway and Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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