While the first third of 2023 has been a pleasant change from the dreadful results of 2022, only a handful of big tech stocks are responsible for most of the gains in the S&P 500 this year. Two of those stocks, Alphabet and Microsoft, posted solid results this week, and their results helped to keep the Nasdaq higher Wednesday, while both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 closed lower.
Investors are worried, and the data shows it, especially after the Dallas Fed manufacturing index hit a nine-month low earlier this week. With the potential for yet another bank failure at First Republic Bank, and deposits fleeing commercial banks for Treasury debt and money markets, the scenario for the rest of 2023 looks somewhat grim. Given all that, now is the time to take profits and move to safer stocks that pay big dependable dividends.
We screened our 24/7 Wall St. research universe and found eight top companies that look like outstanding ideas for nervous investors. While they all are Buy rated across Wall Street, it is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
This maker of tobacco products offers value investors a great entry point now as it has been hit as cigarette sales have slowed. Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) is the parent company of Philip Morris USA (cigarettes), UST (smokeless), John Middleton (cigars), Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Philip Morris Capital. PMUSA enjoys a 51% share of the U.S. cigarette market, led by its top cigarette brand Marlboro.
Altria also owns over 10% of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, which some feel is worth more than $10 billion and may be a segment of the company that could be sold. When Altria posted outstanding fourth-quarter results, it also announced a shareholder-friendly $1 billion stock buyback plan.
Altria stock investors receive an 8.00% dividend. Stifel’s $52 target price compares with a $49.62 consensus target and Wednesday’s $46.69 closing share price.
The top master limited partnership is a safe way for investors looking for energy exposure and income. Energy Transfer L.P. (NYSE: ET) owns and operates one of the largest and most diversified portfolios of energy assets in the United States, with a strategic footprint in all the major domestic production basins.
Energy Transfer is a publicly traded limited partnership with core operations that include complimentary natural gas midstream, intrastate and interstate transportation and storage assets; crude oil, natural gas liquid (NGL) and refined product transportation and terminaling assets; NGL fractionation; and various acquisition and marketing assets.
After the purchase of Enable Partners in 2021, Energy Transfer owns and operates more than 114,000 miles of pipelines and related assets in all the major U.S. producing regions and markets across 41 states, further solidifying its leadership position in the midstream sector.
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