Some stocks to clutch in a storm

The Ticker


"WE'VE entered a new decade and a new period of economic uncertainty," says Personal Finance newsletter. "Ride out the stormy markets with these `all-weather' solid franchises: AOL Time Warner Inc., Chevron Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Pfizer Inc. and St. Paul Cos. Inc."

"Shareholders may want more dividends to make up for less stock appreciation," says S&P Outlook, "but corporations aren't accommodating them. Dividend increases showed a year-to-year drop in March for the fifth month in a row."

On the brighter side, the article goes on to list, under "Recommended Stocks with Rising Dividends," these issues: AON Corp., Avery Dennison Corp. and McCormick & Co. Inc.

And if you want high dividends, Barron's suggests these stocks, with percentage yields in parentheses: AmSouth Bancorporation (5.28), Philip Morris Cos. Inc. (4.55), Bank of America Corp. (4.27), National Services Industries Inc. (5.82) and H. J. Heinz Co. (4.07.)

"The tide has turned. Remember, the market always looks ahead six to nine months. Last year's weakness was way ahead of poor earnings and layoffs. The recent advance precedes all the good news about the startling recovery ahead." (Cabot Market Letter)

"The market seems to have bottomed. A University of Michigan survey shows that two-thirds of consumers think we're in a recession. In four of the past five recessions, stocks bottomed within a month of the first `recession' headlines." (James Stack, editor, InvesTech Research)

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