Weekly Market Summary: Investors Digest Strong Earnings Reports

The Contrary Investing Report

Investing and Trading News, with a Contrarian, Sarcastic Twist!

U.S. stocks posted modest gains this week, which was shortened by the Good Friday holiday. The first full week of earnings season saw largely positive reports, especially from the banks, given the fact that aggregate profits are expected to decline 3% to 4% in the first quarter.

The earnings decline in the face of robust gains to begin 2019 was enough to send strategists at Jefferies to the sidelines this week. On Monday, the firm lowered its rating on U.S. Equities to Modestly Bearish, in the context of their global asset allocation.

However, overall investor sentiment remains high in this country.… Read more

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Growth or yield? Why choose when we can have both.

There are 32 dividend hikes on the way that are going to set up their investors for a big 12 months ahead. How? Simple–these payout raises are going to provide fuel to their attached share prices. The 10%+ raises (and there will be double-digit increases) in particular are going to position their shareholders for safe 10% to 12% returns in the year ahead regardless of what the broader stock market does.

Ever wonder why the yield on your favorite dividend aristocrat always looks low even though the firm is regularly raising that payout?… Read more

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If you’re watching tech stocks grind higher every day, you’ve probably been just a little tempted to jump in.

… or should you wait? After all, the high-flying tech space—particularly fan faves like Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOGL), a.k.a. Alphabet—has to pull back sometime, right?

The short answer is yes, there are plenty more gains ahead for tech—especially if you’re investing over the long haul—making now a great time to buy.

A 9% Dividend From Google (for real)

But we’re not going to “buy direct” and hope for more upside, like your S&P 500-focused friends are likely doing.… Read more

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“Jenny, I can imagine. My wife makes fun of me when I ice my knees after basketball games,” I confided to my friend and favorite bartender.

Her husband, no “young chicken” anymore either she joked, was sore from his own martial arts contest. She bought him a CBD “bath bomb” to help with the aches of being active and middle-aged.

Always the sucker for natural remedies and bartender wisdom, I teed up an Amazon selection for pain and inflammation. Just 26 hours later, I was massaging hemp, turmeric and MSM into my patella tendon (about an hour before tipoff):

BO’s Anti-Inflammatory Pick

“You’re a terrible scientist,” my wife reprimanded me after I bragged about my patella’s comeback in my postgame recap.… Read more

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If your mattress is a bit heavy on cash these days, you’re probably grinding your teeth every day as the markets tick higher. Should you be in the market? Shouldn’t the market pull back eventually?

Here’s a solution that’ll get your “buy and hope” friends out of your face: buy some dividend machines that’ll pay you while the markets levitate and hold up just fine if we do see the dip we’re overdue for.

I’m talking specifically about three mighty “pullback-proof” dividends (yields up to 7.5%) perfect for the “cliff-edge” market we’re seeing now. More on those in a moment.… Read more

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There’s a three-word phrase that’s terrifying just about everyone these days. If you take it at face value, it could trick you into making a dangerous mistake with your retirement.

It springs from the following chart:

The Yield-Curve Panic

This chart tracks the spread between yields on the 10-year Treasury and the 2-year Treasury. In normal times, the shorter-term bond pays a smaller yield than the longer-term bond. But the difference between the two has gotten smaller and is now close to going negative.

That’s where our dangerous phrase comes from: this situation is known as an inverted yield curve.

The upshot?… Read more

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The S&P 500 snapped an eight-session winning streak on Tuesday, but U.S. stocks still have strong momentum heading into the first-quarter earnings season.

The index flirted with the 2,900 level this week, which is a price that we haven’t seen since last October. One big change since then is that average U.S. earnings showed 20%-plus year-over-year growth in the first three quarters of 2018 and now we’re staring at the first quarterly earnings decline in the S&P 500 in three years.

The quarterly reports we’ll see over the next few weeks will go a long way to determining if the recent momentum can continue.… Read more

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A stock’s yield is only as good as its cash flow because, after all, a dividend is nothing more than a promise from a company.

CenturyLink (CTL) recently reminded us of this. Its promised $0.54 per share dividend exceeded its ability to pay. The firm’s payout ratio of 130% – the percentage of profits that it was paying as dividends – was an absurd overpromise that couldn’t last forever:

CenturyLink’s Payout Promise Was Always on Borrowed Time

CEO Jeffrey Storey insisted his team remained “committed to and confident in our ability to maintain the dividend.” I understood the commitment, but questioned the confidence–taking on debt to pay dividends is a losing game.… Read more

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In February, I wrote this about the PIMCO Global Stocks+ and Income Fund (PGP):

“If you have PGP in your portfolio, this is the time to ditch it.”

Then in early April, this happened:

Warning Becomes Reality

What was behind this nosedive? A whopping 23% dividend cut! Worse, PGP owners who didn’t heed my sell call are now sitting on 11% price losses from the day the cuts were announced.

How did I know this calamity was coming?

When it comes to high-yielding CEFs, there are three warning signs that tell you a big crash is just around the corner, and each one was blaring before PGP’s drop.… Read more

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“Does Brett know of a fund that employs a dividend capture strategy?”

Our customer service guru Jonathan has fielded many questions of this flavor in recent weeks and months. And thanks for asking, because I do! Hat tip Wall Street Journal:

“Alpine Woods Capital Investors LLC has employed dividend-timing strategy quite successfully in its Alpine Dynamic Dividend Fund, but the firm believes its approach will work even better in its first closed-end fund.

“The new closed-end fund combines three strategies —dividend capture, value and growth—to maximize the amount of distributed dividend income that qualifies for the reduced rates and to find companies globally with the potential for dividend growth and capital appreciation.”

Sounds awesome, right?… Read more

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About Author

Brett

Hi, I’m Brett Owens – and I’m a financial junkie. My “problem” started incollege, when I got a little dose of the stock market – man, was I hooked…in no time, I was reading the Wall Street Journal religously.

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