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Robert Half International,Staffing Stocks, Climb on BMO Upgrade

BMO Capital says staffing stocks are typically seen as "early cycle outperformers."
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Staffing companies ManpowerGroup  (MAN)  , Robert Half International  (RHI) , and True Blue  (TBI)  were upgraded by a BMO Capital analyst Monday who cited his expectations for an economic recovery.

Shares of ManpowerGroup were up 1.43% to $87.85, while Robert Half International was rising 7.38% to $65.49, and TrueBlue was jumped 11.32% to $19.63.

Analyst Jeffrey Silber said in an investors note that staffing stocks are typically seen as "early cycle outperformers". 

The upgrade “would have been timelier before the positive Pfizer  (PFE) vaccine news two weeks ago,” but the analyst continues to see upside in the "staffing" stocks which typically do well early on in economic recoveries.

Pfizer said last week that its developing coronavirus vaccine reached a 95% efficacy rate, topping that of Moderna  (MRNA) , following final analysis of its late stage trials.

Silber upgraded ManpowerGroup to outperform from market perform with a price target of $100, up from $76. 

Silber cited his expectations for a European economic recovery, added that it will likely be choppy in the near term,” especially given pandemic headwinds in France, but the company should “repeat its historical trend of outperforming early in a cyclical recovery."

The analyst added that even if the near-term economic news is negative, he hopes "investors look through that, and if they don’t, we believe it could offer even more attractive buying opportunities.”

The analyst upgraded Robert Half International  to outperform from market perform, with a price target of $71, up from $58. 

Silber upgraded TrueBlue to outperform from market perform with a price target of $24, up from $18. TrueBlue is typically referred to as the "canary in the coal mine,"  Silber said.