Tag Archives: ABBV

Top Safest Stocks To Invest In 2018

Today, China is on the verge of something similar to the U.S. in the 1950s…   In 1950, the United States was on the cusp of a boom that would produce the largest middle class in history. It was also the beginning of a surge in the U.S. economy that would make it one of the richest countries ever.   In 2000, just 4% of China's urban population was considered middle class. By 2022, that figure will soar to 76%. That's more than 550 million middle-class people in China.   To put this in perspective, its middle class will be 1.7 times the entire population of the U.S. A growing middle class means Chinese consumer spending will surge, too. It's set to increase 55% between 2015 and 2020.   This means plenty of great opportunities if you're looking for a Chinese stock to buy.   And just like the U.S. did during its boom that started in the middle of the last century, China's middle class is set to spend its money in three key areas…

Top Safest Stocks To Invest In 2018: Beasley Broadcast Group Inc.(BBGI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Tuesday afternoon, the cyclical consumer goods & services sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Beasley Broadcast Group Inc (NASDAQ: BBGI) and Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE).

  • [By Benzinga News Desk]

    Beasley Broadcast Group (NASDAQ: BBGI) and Greater Media have entered into a definitive agreement under which Beasley will acquire all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media for approximately $240 million.

Top Safest Stocks To Invest In 2018: Akamai Technologies, Inc.(AKAM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The stock posting the largest daily percentage gain in the S&P 500 ahead of the close Monday was Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) which rose about 14% to $65.67. The stocks 52-week range is $44.65 to $71.64. Volume was 14.5 million compared to its average volume of 2 million.

  • [By Anders Bylund]

    Shares of Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) rose 26.7% in 2016, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Coming off a drastic 28% drop in the last 10 weeks of 2015, the content distribution specialist bounced back quickly.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) dropped about 15% Wednesday to post a new 52-week low of $45.45 after closing at $53.28 on Tuesday. The stock’s 52-week high is $71.64. Volume of about 13 million was roughly 5 times the daily average. The company reported decent results, but soft guidance for the current quarter sank the stock in Wednesday’s session.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The S&P 500 stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) which traded down over 14% at $45.51. The stocks 52-week range is $45.41 to $71.64. Volume wasover 14 million versus the daily average of 2.6 million shares.

Top Safest Stocks To Invest In 2018: Maximus, Inc.(MMS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Michael Flannelly]

    Analysts at Jefferies initiated coverage on business process services provider Maximus Inc. (MMS) late on Thursday, giving the stock a bullish rating because it has several competitive advantages and should benefit from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

    The analysts rate MMS as “Buy” and see shares reaching $47. This price target suggests a 20% upside to the stock’s Thursday closing price of $39.14.

    “MMS is a leading government outsourced contractor that produces consistently strong results,” Jefferies analyst David Styblo commented. “The company has several competitive advantages and is highly focused on health and human service projects. This positions MMS to enjoy multi-year growth from the ACA and other opportunities with limited risk. The company’s predictable business model, solid balance sheet, and EPS visibility into FY2014 also support a Buy and $47 PT.”

    Maximus shares were inactive during pre-market trading on Friday. The stock is up 23.83% year-to-date.

  • [By ]

    Maximus Inc (NYSE: MMS) holds just $16 million in long-term debt against $886 million in shareholder equity. Shares trade for 1.7 times sales for a discount of 26% on the industry average of 2.3 times sales.

Top Safest Stocks To Invest In 2018: AbbVie Inc.(ABBV)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matt Hogan]

    After applying this technique to the 52 Dividend Aristocrats, there were two companies that stood out: Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE: HRL) and AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV).

  • [By George Budwell]

    Keeping this theme in mind, I think the Dividend Aristocrats AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT) are three outstanding stocks to steady any portfolio during these uncertain times. Here’s why.

  • [By ]

    Spotting This Trend In Real Life
    O’Neil cited a pattern to identify the ideal buy candidate that he called a “cup with handle” pattern. There are precise rules for this charting pattern, but the most important pieces are (1) a pullback (2) followed by a consolidation, like the ones highlighted below in the chart of AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV).


    For the details of MENLO ADVISORS LLC’s stock buys and sells, go to www.gurufocus.com/StockBuy.php?GuruName=MENLO+ADVISORS+LLC

    These are the top 5 holdings of MENLO ADVISORS LLCBerkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.B) – 103,443 shares, 15.75% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 0.25%Bank of America Corporation (BAC) – 241,490 shares, 5.48% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 0.25%Markel Corp (MKL) – 6,158 shares, 5.39% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 0.39%AbbVie Inc (ABBV) – 70,185 shares, 5.21% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 2.16%Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO) – 165,414 shares, 4.87% o

Top Safest Stocks To Invest In 2018: Female Health Company (The)(FHCO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Female Health Co (NASDAQ: FHCO) were down 15 percent to $1.46 as the company reported that it has entered into a merger agreement with Aspen Park Pharma.

penny stock news

Related SPY First Artificial Intelligence ETF Soars In Popularity On This Day In Market History: Bernie Madoff Arrested CVS And Aetna: The Worst Of Sick-Care Under One Roof (Seeking Alpha)

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) is up nearly 19 percent in 2017, and much of the rally has been driven by news out of Washington. According to one Wall Street analyst, there are still plenty of political fireworks to come between now and the end of the year.

The Analyst

Height Securities analyst Stefanie Miller.

penny stock news: Alimera Sciences, Inc.(ALIM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    On Thursday, the healthcare sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Alimera Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: ALIM) and Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ANTH).

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Alimera Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: ALIM) shares shot up 59 percent to $1.69 after the company reported preliminary Q2 revenue. Alimera Sciences announced preliminary revenue of $9.3 million to $9.5 million.

penny stock news: RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. (REPCF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sara Cornell]

    RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. (OTCBB: REPCF) (TSX: RP.V) – could be changing the way we treat baldness and hair loss in the future.

    A clinical-stage regenerative medicine company, RepliCel is developing a unique biologic product that harnesses a patient’s own cells to treat pattern baldness and thinning hair, as well as products for aging and sun-damaged skin, and chronic tendon degeneration. The company recently announced the successful completion of its first-in-human clinical study of autologous cell therapy for the treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia, commonly known as pattern baldness.

penny stock news: SL Green Realty Corporation(SLG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Nelson Hem]

    “Manhattan on Sale? That’s the Case With Two Cheap REITS” by Andrew Bary discusses whether Manhattan-focused real estate investment trusts Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO) and SL Green Realty Corp (NYSE: SLG) could rally as the New York market firms. Both trade at a discount to the value of private-market property deals, says the article.

penny stock news: AbbVie Inc.(ABBV)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Javier Hasse]

    8:05:11 am: ABBV WYNN Najarian Brothers See Unusual Options Activity In AbbVie And Wynn Resorts. Jon Najarian spoke on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report" about unusually high options activity in AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV). He said that options traders bought aggressively the October 91 calls. He decided to follow the trade and he is planning to hold it…

  • [By Alex McGuire]

    Meanwhile, the 61 healthcare stocks in the S&P 500 – such as AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) and Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) – offer an average yield of 1.75%.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    I recently bought shares of seven different companies. One of those companies was AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV). I had different reasons for buying each of the stocks. Some were in sectors in which I didn’t already have much exposure in my portfolio. That wasn’t the case with AbbVie, though. I already owned quite a few healthcare stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

gold investment

BMO Capital Markets analyst M. IanSomaiya and team take a look at the “clinical readouts through the end of 2016″ and find upside catalysts for Celgene (CELG), Amgen (AMGN), Biogen (BIIB), and Gilead Sciences (GILD) They explain:

Paulo Fridman/Bloomberg News

Celgene: We believe positive data from the mongersen Phase 2 endoscopy study should move shares higher if the trial demonstrates a benefit on CDAI (the Phase 3 primary endpoint) in line with the IGON-1 Phase 2 trial and endoscopic improvement correlated with therapy duration.

Amgen: We believe positive data from the GLAGOV vascular imaging trial could provide a positive read-through to the success of the ongoing FOURIER CV outcomes trial (data expected 2017).

Biogen: We believe positive titration data from the ongoing Phase 1b study of aducanumab in Alzheimer’s disease could de-risk the ongoing Phase 3 trials.

gold investment: Nature's Sunshine Products, Inc.(NATR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Non-cyclical consumer goods & services sector was the top gainer in the US market on Tuesday. Top gainers in the sector included Nature's Sunshine Prod. (NASDAQ: NATR), Bridgford Foods Corporation (NASDAQ: BRID), and SunOpta, Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ: STKL).

gold investment: CME Group Inc.(CME)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ]

    Market Exchanges like the CME Group (Nasdaq: CME) have just started allowing trading in bitcoin futures and could attract an entirely new type of retail user as well as allowing institutional clients access to the bitcoin theme. Exchanges make their money on transactional volume, so a bursting of the bitcoin bubble wouldn’t necessarily mean weakness for shares.

  • [By David Zeiler]

    Bitcoin futures trading started at the CBOE Global Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: CBOE) on Dec. 10 and on the much larger CME Group Inc. (Nasdaq: CME) on Dec. 18. Nasdaq Inc. (Nasdaq: NDAQ) plans to begin trading Bitcoin futures in the first half of next year.

gold investment: AbbVie Inc.(ABBV)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By J.B. Maverick]

     The pharmaceutical and health care sectors are generally less vulnerable to volatile and cyclical market moves, and may be one of the safer bets in 2016. Major drug manufacturer AbbVie, Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) has performed well for investors, and there are plenty of reasons to believe it will continue to do so. It is difficult to find a stock that shows a return on equity (ROE) of 59.3%, more than double the industry average of 23.3%. In addition, the stock’s dividend yield of 3.76% is well above the S&P 500 average, and the company has stated its firm commitment to return income to investors with a growing dividend payout. With successful drugs such as Humira and Imbruvica, and promising new ones in the company’s development pipeline, AbbVie has experienced revenue growth from $14 billion to $23 billion since 2009, and analysts project earnings per share (EPS) in the neighborhood of $5 for 2016, which represents an increase of 17%.


    AbbVie (ABBV) reported third quarter 2016 net sales increased a healthy 8% to $6.4 billion with net income increasing 29% to $1.6 billion and EPS increasing 31% to $.97.

  • [By Keith Speights, Brian Stoffel, and George Budwell]

    Healthcare is changing rapidly. Which companies will emerge as the huge winners with these major changes? We asked three of our healthcare contributors to weigh in on the subject. Here’s whyAbbVie (NYSE:ABBV),Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Veeva Systems (NYSE:VEEV) could represent bold bets on the future of healthcare.

  • [By Jim Robertson]

    That’s why its worth pointing out that just yesterday, small cap cannabinoid prodrug pharmaceutical stock Vitality Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: VBIO) announced the appointment of Tracy Rockney, J.D. to the position of Senior Regulatory Advisor. In addition to being the Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer of OneSource Regulatory, a regulatory consulting firm, Rockney was previously:

    From May 2010 to May 2015, she was the VP, Regulatory Affairs at AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV) leading the executive functions related to regulatory policy and intelligence. From August 1993 to January 2005, she held positions of increasing responsibility with Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), formerly Wyeth.  From January 2005 to April 2010, she held positions with Shire PLC (NASDAQ: SHPG), including serving as Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs. This included responsibilities as Therapeutic Area Head for Shire’s Gastrointestinal Business Unit, Regulatory Advertising & Promotion and CMC. Rockney led the regulatory team and negotiations with the FDA for LIALDA which are part of the drug class of aminosalicylates that are now part of the clinical standard-of-care for treating inflammatory bowel disease. LIALDA™ was found to be effective in Phase 3 trials for inducing remission of active mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis after eight weeks of treatment. LIALDA™ (also now marketed as Mezavant®) had 2016 U.S. sales of $714 million – up 16% relative to 2015 sales.

    Rockney’s work for Shire is of particular interest to Vitality Biopharma which has developed a new class of cannabinoid prodrugs (medications or compounds that, after administration, are converted within the body into a pharmacologically active drug), known as cannabosides, which upon ingestion can enable the selective delivery of THC and cannabidiol (CBD) to the gastrointestinal tract. Cannabosides could provide therapeutic benefits for infl

gold investment: Lifetime Brands Inc.(LCUT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    On Monday, cyclical consumer goods & services shares gained by 0.41 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Kandi Technologies Group Inc (NASDAQ: KNDI), Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc (NYSE: HOT), and Lifetime Brands Inc (NASDAQ: LCUT).

gold investment: Immunomedics, Inc.(IMMU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Immunomedics, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMMU) saw its shares rise after the firm sent out a letter to shareholders imploring them to vote for its director nominees at the upcoming annual stockholders meeting on February 16. The board of directors is making this request because it is currently waging a proxy contest with venBio SelectAdvisor.

gold investment: China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation(SNP)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The Permian Basin pipeline project includes an investment by China’s state-controlled China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE: SNP), aka Sinopec. Other partners in the project include ArcLight Capital and Freepoint Commodities LLC. The deal also includes an expansion to oil storage facilities in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where recent hurricanes have caused so much damage. The project still requires approval from both countries governments.’

12 Best Dividend Stocks for the Next 12 Months

Finding the best dividend stocks involves looking beyond the next few weeks and thinking about a long-term investment. After all, if you’re only in a dividend stock for a short time then you may not get the full yield that’s based on a full year of payouts.

And heck, if you don’t pay attention to dividend dates, you may not get a single payment!

It’s much better, then, to focus on the best dividend stocks for the next year instead of just the next month. That is the only way to ensure that you get a full battery of payments from your investments, and that you maximize the income potential of your portfolio.

In truth, all investors are too short-sighted with their portfolios. They fear short-term volatility, and make rash decisions. But particularly if you’re a dividend investor, thinking in any less than 12-month increments can be very detrimental to your performance.

To help you make the most of 2018, then, here are 12 dividend stocks that will continue to profit for the next 12 months, not just the short term.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now - Enterprise Products Partners (EPD)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Bilfinger via Flickr
Sector: Energy Market Cap: $52 billion Yield: 7% YTD Return: -10% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE:EPD) is a great example of the income potential in energy stocks. While exploration and production companies have to take on big debts on the hopes that they will strike enough oil to turn a profit, EPD is just a middleman between those producers and the marketplace. That insulates it from the volatility of energy prices, and allows for a more reliable revenue stream.

In addition to the reliable revenue stream of its business, EPD also boasts an impressive scale that should be attractive to low-risk investors. The energy company operates more than 49,000 miles of pipeline, 260 million barrels of crude oil storage and another 14 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage.

Currently, Enterprise Products offers a great yield of 7%, and has a strong track record of raising distributions over time, too. It’s this constant and growing payout that is the hallmark of a good MLP investment.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Ladder Capital (LADR) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Ladder Capital (LADR)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Yuriy Trubitsyn via Unsplash
Sector: REITs Market Cap: $2 billion Yield: 9.2% YTD Return: 1% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Ladder Capital Corp (NYSE:LADR) is not your typical real estate investment trust. Unlike other stocks that own shopping malls or office parks, LADR doesn’t own physical properties. Instead, it invests as a third party in these real estate holdings either through lending, equity investments or other financing.

This makes Ladder Capital more of a financial stock than a real estate play in a way, since its stock is tied to the performance of its underlying investments in properties. But the difference is that while banks can operate with a bit more flexibility, the designation as an REIT demands that the firm delivers 90% of taxable income back to shareholders. That is a mandate for big dividends, with LADR being a pass-through for shareholders who want to share in the fruits of its investments.

Those investments are looking pretty strong, too, with loans and investment in properties that span the country from New York to L.A. Those deals collectively deliver a more than 9% dividend to shareholders via the interest on those loans and other capital appreciation. And as the American economy continues to thrive with low unemployment, high consumer confidence and a roaring stock market, these investments are sure to keep delivering.

This is a great cyclical dividend play for the next few years as a result of rising rents and property values in 2018.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: AbbVie (ABBV) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: AbbVie (ABBV)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Black Stripe via Wikimedia (Modified)
Sector: Healthcare Market Cap: $153 billion Yield: 3% YTD Return: 52% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) was spun off of Big Pharma mainstay Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) in 2013, and it is the drug-focused arm of the previous company. It’s home to current blockbusters, including psoriasis treatment Humira as well as a research-driven drugmaker looking for the next generation of big-name cures.

Analysts are projecting revenue growth at ABBV of almost 10% this year and next, and profit expansion of 15% or better both years thanks to a strong pharmaceutical portfolio. And that success has translated into generous dividends, as the company has ramped up its payout from 40 cents after its initial spin-off to 64-cents-per-share just four years later.

With decent profit growth resulting in continued dividend growth, investors can enjoy not just a robust payout now, but the hopes of continued payouts from this healthcare giant going forward.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Southern Company (SO) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Southern Company (SO)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Desiree Kane via Flickr
Sector: Utilities Market Cap: $51 billion Yield: 4.5% YTD Return: 4% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Southern Co (NYSE:SO) is one of the largest utilities in the U.S., serving 19 states through various subsidiaries. While its oldest core holdings, including Alabama Power and Georgia Power, are electric utilities, the company’s Southern Company Gas operates a massive natural gas distribution business from Maryland to Florida and its Southern Telecom is a play on fiber optics in the Southeast as well.

SO stock offers scale and stability, and is a consistent dividend payer that has mailed check to shareholders since 1982. On top of that, Southern Company has raised dividend payouts at least once each year since 2001 even as it has continued to expand aggressively into other businesses and geographies.

Utility stocks are some of the safest bets out there thanks to geographic monopolies and a highly regulated industry that doesn’t allow for new entrants or much competition. As one of the nation’s leading utilities with a reliable customer base, SO is sure to prosper in 2018.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Phillips 66 Partners (PSXP) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now – Phillips 66 Partners (PSXP)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-170×93.jpg170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Shutterstock
Sector: Energy Market Cap: $5 billion Yield: 5.8% YTD Return: -7% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Many of the most successful MLPs have been created by large energy companies that want the benefit from the unique structure of this kind of business. It’s often a win-win for both the primary stock that is the general partner as well as for the new partnership that has been created, and that’s exactly the case with Phillips 66 Partners LP (NYSE:PSXP) and its corporate parent ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).

Spun off in 2013, Phillips 66 Partners consists of pipelines, terminals and other midstream assets that help power the broader ConocoPhillips business. The tax benefits and a generous yield of over 5% kicked back to COP as a major investor make it great for the parent, but the MLP benefits nicely too. Consider PSXP received more than $2.3 billion in projects from its parent company last year alone!

Phillips 66 Partners has raised its distribution for 16 consecutive quarters since entering public markets, and is clearly committed to delivering consistent income to its shareholders.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Medical Properties Trust (MPW) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now – Medical Properties Trust (MPW)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-170×93.jpg170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Shutterstock
Sector: REITs Market Cap: $5 billion Yield: 7% YTD Return: 12% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Medical Properties Trust, Inc. (NYSE:MPW) is a fast-growing REIT seeing brisk expansion of its funds from operations — the most important measure we can get from this special class of tax-sheltered companies. That reliable and growing flow of cash also helps fuel reliable and growing dividends, to the tune of 7% currently.

But it’s not just the income potential that’s worth a look here. Aging baby boomers are increasing demand for care in the U.S., inflationary trends guarantee pricing power in the sector, and even in an economic downturn you’ll see Americans cut back on everything but their healthcare.

MPW is well-positioned to capitalize on this trend thanks to its ownership of community hospitals and acute-care centers — and a recent acquisition of 11 more facilities will certainly boost its numbers in the year ahead.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Altria (MO) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Altria (MO)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Peyri Herrera via Flickr (Modified)
Sector: Consumer staples Market Cap: $129 billion Yield: 3.9% YTD Return: -2% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) may strike some as a no-growth company without much upside. However, this pick is not just a dividend stock; consider that over the past five years, it has actually outperformed the S&P 500 in share price performance alone thanks to aggressive buybacks and shrewd management of profitability.

And of course, MO stock is a go-to for dividend investors after 48 consecutive years of increases in its payout. Those increases aren’t a penny here and there, either — as evidenced most recently with an 8% bump in 2017 from 61 cents to 66 cents.

Yes, traditional tobacco products are on the outs. But keep in mind that Altria is not merely Philip Morris USA — the name behind iconic cigarette brands like Marlboro and Parliament. Altria also dabbles in smokeless products and even wines via producer Ste. Michelle. This provides an added level of long-term stability.

Shares haven’t done much lately in 2017, but with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of less than 18 and reliable profit growth ahead in 2018, I’d bank on Altria regardless of short-term market trends.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Cisco (CSCO) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Cisco (CSCO)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-170×93.jpg 170w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Shutterstock
Sector: Technology Market Cap: $186 billion Yield: 3.1% YTD Return: 25% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

When investors look for reliable dividend stocks, often they overlook the tech sector. That’s in part because even tech companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) that pay some kind of dividend still offer less than 10-year Treasuries — or on the flip side, because many tech stocks that do yield a decent amount don’t have much to offer investors beyond their dividends.

But Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) stands apart. Not only does the IT giant currently offer an attractive dividend, with payouts that have jumped from 6 cents in 2011 to 29 cents a quarter at present, it also has a good growth story to tell after an impressive earnings report before Thanksgiving. Not only did it beat on earnings and boost its outlook, but the company showed Wall Street it is effectively transitioning away from networking hardware and into cloud-based solutions that are the norm in 2017. Shares are up about 20% in the last three months as a result.

These structural improvements at CSCO bode well for 2018 and beyond. And given Cisco’s commitment to increased dividends and deep pockets with some $72 billion in cash and investments in the bank, you can be certain this company will keep rewarding shareholders for the next decade to come.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Diageo (DEO) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Diageo (DEO)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px)100vw, 300px” />Source: Puamella via Flickr (Modified)
Sector: Consumer staples Market Cap: $87 billion Yield: 2.3% YTD Return: 35% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Diageo plc (ADR) (NYSE:DEO) is a world leader in the spirits business, with mega-brands including Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray and Guinness beer, among a host of others. And thanks to a focus mainly on liquor, DEO stock has been largely insulated from the shakeup we’ve seen in the beer biz as craft brews have eroded share.

For instance, even as Anheuser Busch InBev NV (ADR) (NYSE:BUD) has struggled since 2015 despite a $200 billion operation with some of the biggest mainline beers on the planet, Diageo has slightly outperformed the market thanks to modest but consistent growth.

As a “sin stock,” Diageo also has the unique benefit of seeing stable or even increased demand during hard times. After all, why give up your cocktails if the market is crashing, hurricanes are bearing down on your house and North Korea is thinking of detonating a nuke?

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Dominion Energy (D) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Dominion Energy (D)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-170×93.jpg 170w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Riccardo Annandale Via Unsplash
Sector: Utilities Market Cap: $52 billion Yield: 3.7% YTD Return: -10% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Dominion Energy Inc (NYSE:D) is a safe play for a host of reasons. But chief among them are the facts that it is a low-risk utility stock with reliable operations and a significant yield.

Dominion generates electricity mainly in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. from North Carolina to Pennsylvania and distributes natural gas across a wide swath of the American West. The consistent cash flow from these operations has fueled consistent dividend payouts for almost 90 years, and has allowed Dominion to grow payouts substantially over time; distributions were 39.5 cents quarter at the end of 2008 and are now 77 cents, an increase of about 95% in about nine years.

The icing on the cake is that Dominion is one of the most adaptable and diversified utilities in the U.S., with numerous nuclear and renewable power generation facilities in its portfolio. This isn’t just good as a hedge against the long-term decline of fossil fuels, but also a bridge to new business. One recent headline that should really pique investor interest is a recent contract to provide renewable energy to a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) data center in Virginia.

That kind of willingness to meet big corporations where they live is a strong sign that Dominion is forward-thinking and isn’t just sitting back collecting monthly checks from customers.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Merck (MRK) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Merck (MRK)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-170×93.jpg 170w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Shutterstock
Sector: Healthcare Market Cap: $151 billion Yield: 3.4% YTD Return: -6% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) continues to see growth as its drugs look to fight common American health conditions. Its blockbuster diabetes drug Januvia, which helps lower blood sugar, accounts for some $4 billion in annual sales and its Zetia cholesterol medication racks up over $2 billion in annual sales.

And it’s not done, either, with a strong product pipeline that includes cancer drug Keytruda. The pipeline could open avenues to much bigger revenue after a very nice showing so far in 2017. The marriage of so-called “maintenance” drugs to provide regular revenue will fuel dividends now, and new drugs could yield continued dividend growth going forward.

With one of the biggest and most stable brands in medicine, this healthcare stock is a great long-term play for dividend investors. The healthcare company has paid consistent dividends since 1970, and is a rock-solid bet for the coming year.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Procter & Gamble (PG) Why PG Stock Quietly Became a Buyinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr (Modified)
Sector: Consumer staples Market Cap: $1225 billion Yield: 3.1% YTD Return: 6% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

You couldn’t have a list of safe-haven investments without Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG), one of the most reliable consumer names on the planet.

Powered by amazing brands from Dawn dish soap to Gillette shaving products to Crest toothpaste, P&G has its fingerprints all over the typical household. And best of all for low-risk investors, these products will keep selling no matter what the macro picture is like because people still need to clean their bodies and their kitchens regardless of where the S&P is headed.

It also has a consistent commitment to dividends, increasing its payout for the last 60 straight years, and has been generous with those increases to boot; distributions have roughly doubled in the last decade, meaning P&G dividend hikes are in the ballpark of 10% each year.

Yes, shares have been rangebound for a few years now. But a recent proxy fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz has shaken the company awake. And even if the tally in the voting has been disputed by P&G, the message from its investors is crystal clear: pay more attention to the bottom line and to delivering real shareholder value. That should usher in some important changes that help this stock remain dominant as we enter 2018.

As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not have a position in any of the aforemen

investment definition

1. Stocks surge: U.S. stock indexes look set to build on their record-setting performances.

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 have both added more than 2.5% since the start of the year. The Dow is now trading near the 20,300 point level.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index has also turned in a very strong performance, gaining 6.5% since the start of 2017.

U.S. stock futures were inching up on Monday and could be on track for new all-time highs.

Most European and Asian markets were also positive.

2. OPEC oil report: Investors will be watching to see if OPEC cut crude production in January.

OPEC and other major producers agreed to slash oil production late last year and it looks like they’re sticking to the plan. Last week, the International Energy Agency announced the cartel was 90% in compliance.

OPEC will release its own report on Monday.

The agreement to cut production has helped boost crude prices. Crude oil futures are currently trading around $53.50 per barrel, more than double their lowest level of 2016.

investment definition: China Mobile (Hong Kong) Ltd.(CHL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Thursday, telecommunications services shares fell 0.12 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: CHL), down 3 percent, and Partner Communications Company Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: PTNR), down 1.5 percent.

  • [By David Goodboy]

    Rumors are that Apple will use this opportunity to announce the long-awaited deal with China Mobile (NYSE: CHL), which is the world's largest cellphone carrier with more than 700 million active users. Clearly, there are impediments in the way, but the potential for a lower-priced iPhone for this market means strong possibilities remain. This deal would be a major upside catalyst for Apple shares.

  • [By Motif Investing]

    The most heavily weighted names in the motif are China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: CHL), Aibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), Baidu Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU), India's HDFC Bank (NYSE: HDB) and Russia's Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (NYSE: MBT).

investment definition: Fastenal Company(FAST)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Breaking news

    Shares of Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA) dropped over 7 percent in pre-market trading after the company reported Q3 results. Alcoa posted Q3 adjusted earnings of $0.32 per share on sales of $5.2 billion.
    Fastenal Company (NASDAQ: FAST) released third quarter financial results, reporting an earnings miss while revenue came in line with Street estimates. To read the full news, click here.
    Twilio Inc (NYSE: TWLO) announced preliminary results for the third quarter that came in above the Street estimates. To read the full news, click here.
    According to the Associated Press, Samsung Electronics (OTC: SSNLF) said it will no longer manufacturer its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. The permanent discontinuation follows a round of reports saying customer's replacement phones have caught fire. To read the full news, click here.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Fastenal Company (NASDAQ: FAST) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $0.45 per share on revenue of $988.60 million.

    Perry Ellis International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PERY) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.35 per share on revenue of $214.26 million.

investment definition: AbbVie Inc.(ABBV)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By George Budwell]

    Keeping this theme in mind, I think the Dividend Aristocrats AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT) are three outstanding stocks to steady any portfolio during these uncertain times. Here’s why.

  • [By Kumar Abhishek]

    The lower number of patient starts and rising competition has been a major worry for Gilead Sciences Inc. Most of the patients with serious Hep-C conditions have already been cured.It is estimated that more than 1 million Hep-C patients have been cured worldwide. And the entry of competitively priced drugs will further dent the growth of this segment. Gilead’s HCV drugs are facing tough competition from Merck (NYSE:MRK), AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY). For example, initially, the price difference between Merck’s treatment plan and Gilead’s plan was a whopping $40,000. The rising competition is also impacting the HCV segment’s margins.

  • [By Craig Jones]

    Jon Najarian noticed high options volume in the November 205 calls in NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) ahead of earnings. He also spoke about unusual activity in AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV). Traders were buying the November 91 calls in the name.

investment definition: Synacor, Inc.(SYNC)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Synacor Inc (NASDAQ: SYNC) shares dropped 18 percent to $3.42. Synacor priced 5.715 million shares at $3.50 per share.

    Shares of Resources Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ: RECN) were down around 15 percent to $13.65 after the company posted downbeat quarterly results.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Synacor Inc (NASDAQ: SYNC) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.03 per share on revenue of $30.00 million.

    VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: EGY) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $0.11 per share on revenue of $18.59 million.

investment definition: Time Warner Inc.(TWX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matthew Briar]

    The phrase “over the top television” – or its acronym “OTT” – aren’t necessarily newly-coined ones. The phrase/abbreviation materialized shortly after Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) became a viable alternative to traditional cable television services less than a decade ago. The over-the-top race didn’t really heat up, however, until the past few months. Once it did heat up though, sparks started to fly in earnest.

    They’re still flying too, and will be for a while if a small startup called Viva Entertainment Group Inc (OTCMKTS:OTTV) has anything to say about it. Netflix, Hulu [jointly owned by Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA)] and all the rest of the relatively new players in this space may want to look over their shoulder. In the meantime, investors may want to take a step back and look at where the real money in the OTT industry is going to be made during the next 10 years. OTTV plays a prominent role in that picture.

    Contrary to popular belief, Netflix isn’t the totally dominant name it used to be in the Internet-delivered television industry. It was admittedly the first on the scene, and therefore was able to carve out the biggest piece of the market (which it still holds to this day). It’s largely become a commoditized business though.

    Case in point? Aside from Hulu and Netflix, CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) has jumped into the game with its product called CBS All Access. The service allows subscribers, for a nominal monthly fee, to access a variety of CBS programming via the Internet. HBO, from Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX), has found respectable success with its subscription-based Internet television service called HBO Go.

    Sling TV, from DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH), has really broken new ground in the over the top market by aggregating a variety of television channels into an entire package and then selling that package at a rate that’s much less than what it would cost a cable subscriber

  • [By Benzinga News Desk]

    It took a “Wonder Woman” not only to jump-start the summer box office, but end Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX)'s critically maligned skid as it tries to approximate the success of the rival Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise run by Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS): Link

  • [By Brian Stoffel]

    It’s important to remember that AT&T (NYSE:T) is more than just the namesake brand. The company also owns DirecTV, and it may soon acquireTime Warner (NYSE:TWX)if regulators approve the deal.

  • [By Keith Noonan]

    Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) has signed Avengers series director Joss Whedon to make a Batgirl movie that’s part of its DC Extended Universe (DCEU) movie franchise. In addition to television series including Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Firefly, Whedon is known for writing and directing Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) first two Avengers films, so the director’s move to the DCEU franchise presents a notable creative shakeup in the cinematic superhero competition.