Weekly Market Summary: Lower Rates Highlight Value of Dividends

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A three-day holiday may be just what the U.S. stock market needs. Investors turned more defensive in the last week of trading before Summer kicks off on Monday with the Memorial Day holiday.

Traders bought bonds this week, pushing rates lower, while selling stocks. The trade war between China and the U.S. heated up again and investors were spooked by reports of slower growth in Europe. UK Prime Minister Theresa May also said on Friday that she will step down in June, after failing to execute a Brexit strategy in the past three years.

Elsewhere, crude oil posted its worst one-day performance for 2019 on Thursday, though remains 25% higher year-to-date.… Read more

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Mortgage payments. Car payments. Cell-phone bills. Power bills. Water bills. Credit card bills.

What do they all have in common?

Nobody likes them, of course. But more importantly, they all arrive relentlessly month after month.

That’s fine when you have a normal job that pays you every couple of weeks or every month. But that regular bill routine becomes considerably more daunting once you hit retirement, when much of your regular income is coming from your portfolio of dividend paying stocks … which pay out every quarter, not every month.

Investors in turn often build complicated dividend calendars that get knocked out of whack whenever they ever have to cut back on certain stocks.… Read more

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Right now, there are two closed-end funds (CEFs) you need to sell immediately—or steer clear of if you don’t already own them.

Before I reveal them, I want to explain the unmistakable sell signal both are showing as I write this. You can easily use it to “crash-test” the CEFs in your own portfolio, or spot CEF bargains.

A Built-in CEF “Sell Alert”

I’m talking about the difference between the fund’s market price and per-share net asset value, or NAV (which is just another way of saying the value of the CEF’s holdings).

CEFs usually trade at a discount to NAV, and if you’re a subscriber to my CEF Insider service, you know we’ve banked some impressive returns by waiting for those discounts to get ridiculously wide, buying, then holding on as the discount reverts to normal, pushing the share price higher as it does.… Read more

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“I’m 11 years older now. Brett, I just can’t have a repeat of 2008,” my new subscribers often share.

“Now tell me which of these dividends will survive a bear market like that. I want to buy only the safest yields,” they continue.

Fortunately I’m no stranger to dividends that thrive in bear markets. We fittingly launched the Contrarian Income Report months before the market’s tantrum in 2016. The S&P 500 promptly dropped 10% as a welcome present!

It was no problem for our strong dividends, however. In fact, subscribers who focused on their own holdings rather than the financial news likely have missed the broader carnage altogether.… Read more

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Let’s ride this “tariff tiff” to a cash stream that’s double (and maybe even triple) the 2% and 3% payouts your friends are likely “grinding it out” with today.

I’m talking about a stout 5% yield here. And that’s just the start, because that payout has surged 64% in the last 10 years, and is set to repeat that feat in the next 10.

While we’re at it, we’ll “2008-proof” your portfolio, too, carefully cushioning your nest egg from the next market collapse.

And we’ll do all of this with the three unusual “pullback-proof” stocks I’ll show you shortly. Each is set to hold its own in the next crash, then soar when the dust settles.… Read more

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You’re no doubt wondering if there’s anywhere you can invest and still get a decent return—without wincing every time you open your brokerage account.

Good news: there is just such a place. And today I’m going to show it to you—along with three specific “crash-resistant” funds yielding up to 7.1%.

The magical place I’m talking about is an often-ignored corner of the market called closed-end funds (CEFs).

Steady Dividends for Rocky Markets

There’s a weird twist that lets CEFs pay us dividends of 7.1% (and a lot higher) without exposing us to the risk of a surprise payout cut.

It comes down to the fact that several CEFs’ prices (on the open market) trade at a discount to the per-share net asset value (or the liquidation value of their portfolios).… Read more

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The ongoing trade dispute with China frightened U.S. investors again on Monday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 617 points. However, markets were able to claw back those losses over the next three trading sessions.

While no resolution has been made between the two superpowers, the war of words has since quieted down. In addition, investors cheered solid earnings reports from blue-chips, like Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Wal-Mart (WMT).

Calculating the Tariff Cost

Still, President Trump has vowed to consider tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods next month, if the two countries don’t agree to a truce by the G20 Summit in Japan.… Read more

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Is it time to tariff-proof our dividends (again)?

A couple months into the U.S.-China trade tensions, I said the key was to buy dividend-growth stocks: “Payout growth like that is proven to throw an updraft under share prices when the markets get skittish due to any kind of worry: trade spats, terrorist attacks, wars—you name it.”

Then I highlighted a trio of dividend growers–Life Storage (LSI), Ecolab (ECL) and Carnival Corp. (CCL)–that looked primed to swim upstream. Unpredictable fuel costs helped weigh on our Carnival pick, but even then, the combined total return of all three selections nearly doubled the S&P 500’s return.… Read more

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If you’re like, well, everybody, you’ve been mulling these three questions lately:

Is this “tariff tantrum” the end of the bull market? Is it time to sell? Or buy more?

I’ll deal with the first question in a second. Meantime, let’s start with the second one: no, it is not time to sell. Because after all, we need to stay invested to keep our dividend checks rolling in.

What about buying?

Yes, it’s still a great time to buy—especially in one corner of the market where 6%+ dividends are everywhere: closed-end funds (CEFs).

In a moment, I’ll reveal a CEF whose yield recently soared to nearly 7%!… Read more

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Is it time to tariff-proof our dividends (again)?

Let’s look at our favorite payers with respect to a potential trade war. Could tariffs derail the 7.2% gravy train I’ve put together for you? Let’s rewind to the last time protectionism flared in America, 17 years ago, to see how some of our stocks and funds performed during the last trade tiff.

On March 20, 2002, President George W. Bush whacked steel imports with tariffs ranging from 8% to 20%. The duties stayed in effect until December 4, 2003. The European Union was unamused and hit back with tariffs of its own.… 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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