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Large-Cap ETFs Weather Stock Slump

These price declines have generated rising interest in the large-cap universe, particularly on the basis of valuation. "I think large-caps are very compelling right now because they are very cheap when compared to small-caps," said Rafael Resendes, portfolio manager for the Toreador Large Cap Value Fund (TORLX). "We haven't seen this level of value in large-caps in years."

Despite the attractive valuations, Resendes notes that there is still a degree of uncertainty surrounding large-cap ETFs and the market as a whole. "We're still struggling with the question of how much the economy is ultimately going to slow down," he said. "I also think the upcoming election is going to have very important implications for the market and the future of capital-gains rates."

For investors who are not sold on these ETFs or are only looking for an individual stock to fill out their portfolio, opportunity may be knocking in the form of a couple of large-caps that have been around for decades.

Posada has a long-term bullish view on International Business Machines (IBM), one of the top holdings of her fund. In July, IBM reported second-quarter results that included a 32% increase in diluted EPS on a 13% rise in sales from a year earlier. "IBM has an ideal business model with a significant portion of its revenue coming from services and abroad," she said. "It has transformed itself into more of a software company and a service provider."

Resendes likes the refiner Valero Energy (VLO), which he thinks has upside potential of 40% to 50% in its current stock price. "Valero is particularly interesting because it didn't participate in the commodity boom of recent months," he said. "Right now it is one of the best-positioned refiners with a lot of flexibility in its product mix."

Valero presently trades at 7.8 times future earnings.

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