Warren Buffett Stock Picks: Why VZ, CVX and SSP Are Moving Today

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The Oracle of Omaha has spoken. And what’s on his mind are several new positions, including Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), that Warren Buffett initiated in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to an SEC filing on Tuesday.

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As you probably know, the world’s seventh-richest man leads Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B). The conglomerate now holds 147.6 million shares of VZ stock, a stake that was valued at about $8.6 billion at year end. Not surprisingly, the stock is up 3.74% in Wednesday’s premarket trading, reversing a week of declines.

The filing also showed the famed stock picker bought up 23.07 million shares of media company E.W. Scripps (NASDAQ:SSP). Those shares are also up in premarket trading, pushing past their 52-week high and rising more than 8% in heavy volume.

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The filing comes as the market’s so-called “Buffett Indicator” has reached a record high. That metric, which takes the Wilshire 5000 Index (viewed as the total stock market) and divides it by the annual U.S. GDP, is at about 195.7%. It exceeded 159.2% just prior to the early 2000’s dotcom bubble.

Buffett Buys, Buffett Sells

The 13-F filing wasn’t all bullish, to be sure. It looks like Buffett turned bearish on financial stocks, paring his stake in Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and baling out of positions in PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM).

Coincidentally, the three-year-old Berkshire-JPMorgan joint healthcare venture with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), called Haven, announced recently that it would close up shop.

Meanwhile, another Buffett mash-up — Kraft Heinz (NYSE:KHC) — continues to struggle. The company was put together by Buffett and Brazil’s 3G Capital Management in 2013. The idea was to cut costs in popular packaged-food brands through “zero-based budgeting,” where all spending must be justified every year, then pull out cash in the form of dividends.

InvestorPlace contributor Dana Blankenhorn yesterday noted that since it was put together, however, Kraft Heinz stock is down almost 50%. The zero-based approach has starved it of capital. Now, to protect the dividend, it’s being broken up.

On the date of publication, Robert Lakin did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. 

InvestorPlace contributor Robert Lakin is a veteran financial writer and editor, following fintech, agtech and property tech startups.

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