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7 Stocks With ‘Tax Cut’ Dividend Increases on Tap

Congress and President Donald Trump passed a historic tax cut late last year, lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. This monumental legislation should place hundreds of billions of dollars back in the hands of corporations. But which companies will put these dollars in the hands of investors as dividend increases?

Some companies will use the money saved — or repatriated from overseas — to reinvest in their businesses. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), for example, will invest $50 billion into infrastructure in the coming years.

Other companies will use the money to repurchase stock. Regrettably, those stocks are very overvalued right now.

Many companies, however, will boost their dividends to reward shareholders. This will be particularly true of companies that are already cash flow positive and are struggling to grow or would struggle anyway just given their business.

Here are seven likely candidates for dividend increases.

Dividend Increases: Apple (AAPL) Apple Inc. (AAPL)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: via Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be one of the big winners in the tax cut game. For starters, it should be able to repatriate about $215 billion. It will also save about $2.2 billion in taxes. Now, Apple not only will have all that cash on hand, it also has free cash flow in excess of $50 billion.

What’s interesting about AAPL stock is the yield is only 1.49%, based on a $2.52 per share dividend. Apple could literally afford to plow the entire tax savings into an increased dividend — boosting it by $0.44 per share — to $2.96 per share or 1.72%.

Dividend Increases: Home Depot (HD) Why HD Stock Is Finally Too Expensiveinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr (Modified)

Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) is another huge winner in the corporate tax cut parade. HD will save close to $675 million annually.

The beauty of Home Depot is that the company is currently firing on all cylinders. They’re seeing fabulous same-store comps. And their current dividend payout is presently a mere 40% of free cash flow.

Home Depot can and should plow their entire tax savings into a dividend increase of $0.65 per share, lifting the dividend from $3.56 to $4.21 per share. That would push the yield from 1.88% to 2.22%.

Dividend Increases: Pfizer (PFE) PFE Stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-116×58.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-800×400.jpg 800w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” /> Source: Shutterstock

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) stands to save about $150 million annually. As a big pharma company, Pfizer must continually feed its R&D machine. R&D routinely costs about $7.5 – $8.5 billion annually, yet that money comes out of its extremely robust free cash flow which runs $13 – 16 billion annually.

Figure a $.025 dividend increase on top of its already annual increase, which results in a small increase in yield from 3.75% to 3.77%. Not big, but a lot of retirement investors hold PFE stock.

Dividend Increases: Cisco (CSCO) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-300×165.jpg 300w, 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,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Shutterstock

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has fallen into no/slow-growth territory with net income effectively stalling over the past couple of years. Nevertheless, CSCO stock generates about $13 billion annually in free cash flow. That’s pretty amazing, so the additional $350 million in tax savings would likely all go to increasing the dividend.

The $.07 per share increase would push the dividend from $1.16 per share to $1.23 per share, lifting the yield from 3.03% to 3.14%.

Dividend Increases: Coca-Cola (KO) The Coca-Cola Co KO stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Leo Hidalgo via Flickr (Modified)

The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) has really been struggling the past few years. The world moved away from sugary drinks and toward healthier choices. Revenue is falling, as is net income.

Nevertheless, KO stock has enjoyed bountiful cash flow for decades and has almost $40 billion of cash on hand. So while business is struggling, much of the $220 million in tax savings may go to either stock repurchases or dividend increases.

If the latter, that means a $0.05 per share increase to $1.53 per share, boosting the yield from 3.23% to 3.36%.

Dividend Increases: Microsoft (MSFT) Why You Should Buy Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Stock on the Dipinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Mike Mozart Via Flickr

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will win big with the tax cut as well. Because Microsoft is finally growing earnings again, but has tons of cash and cash flow, there is no need to plow the tax savings into the business.

MSFT can also start to make big strides towards becoming an income stock. Get this — before the cut, MSFT generated $30 billion in free cash flow last year, and paid out only $11.8 billion in dividends.

Tax savings could push another $0.04 per share into the dividend, lifting it to $1.72 per share.

Dividend Increases: Boeing (BA) Boeing BA stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Phillip Capper via Flickr

Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) is another widely-held stock that’s in a sweet-spot as far as how to use its tax windfall. They aren’t saving an enormous chunk of money — about $93 million — but that still translates to a $0.16 per share dividend increase.

That would push the dividend right up to $7 per share, lifting the yield from 2.32% to 2.34%.

Lawrence Meyers is the CEO of PDL Capital, a specialty lender focusing on consumer finance and is the Manager of The Liberty Portfolio at www.thelibertyportfolio.com. He does not own any stock mentioned. He has 23 years’ experience in the stock market, and has written more than 1,800 articles on investing. Lawrence Meyers can be reached at TheLibertyPortfolio@gmail.com.

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27 Quotes From Investing Greats to Make You a Better Dividend Investor

Individual investors benefit when investing greats share their wisdom.

Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Joel Greenblatt, Seth Klarman, Peter Lynch, and Phil Fisher are all investing greats who have written books and/or shared their wisdom in annual reports.

It’s hard to overstate how much investors have to gain by studying these investors.

The returns generated by the investors covered in Invest Like The Best are simply remarkable.

Warren Buffett:  19% CAGR over 50 years Seth Klarman:  ~20% CAGR over 34 years Benjamin Graham:  ~20% CAGR over 20 years Peter Lynch:  29% CAGR over 13 years Joel Greenblatt:  48% CAGR over 10 year

This article will provide actionable investing quotes from six of the world’s greatest investors.

Warren Buffett Investing Quotes

Warren Buffett’s $70+ billion fortune makes him one of the wealthiest men in the world. Warren Buffett’s quotes are concise and filled with investing wisdom.

Warren Buffett also stands out among the investors on this list because he is still actively investing today, despite being more than 80 years old. This means we can piggyback off of his investing success by studying the portfolio of his investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway.

Over the years Warren Buffett has evolved from a strict value investor to an investor that looks for shareholder-friendly businesses with strong competitive advantages trading at fair or better prices. Warren Buffett’s portfolio is loaded with dividend growth stocks like The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO).

Warren Buffett’s approach to investing is to buy excellent businesses and let them compound wealth over time.

“Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.”

Time is the friend of the wonderful company because over time wonderful companies will continue to gain market share, grow earnings, and reward shareholders. For a mediocre business, time is the enemy. The mediocre business will slowly succumb to the competitive forces of free markets.

Buffett also believes that wonderful companies can still make attractive investments when they are purchased at not-necessarily-wonderful prices. One of his most famous quotes illustrates this point nicely:

“It’s far better to buy a wonderful business at a fair price than a fair business at a wonderful price.”

Time + wonderful business = wealth.

Time + fair business = mediocre results.

When one buys a fair business at a wonderful price, they are relying on the stock market to generate their returns; hoping that the business’ valuation will rise. When one buys a wonderful business, they can sit back and let the business grow over time; increasing value on its own.

So what makes a wonderful business? Buffett believes that wonderful businesses are positioned to perform well regardless of future changes to consumer behavior, the economic environment, and the technological landscape. This has led to Buffett stating the following:

“Our approach is very much profiting from lack of change rather than from change.”

Businesses that must undergo continuous change to stay relevant will eventually lose pace with the market. Businesses that rarely have to change their products have a much lower risk of product obsolescence.

What will the smartphone industry look like 20 years from now? I have no idea. Very few people (could anyone?) could have predicted the rise of Apple 20 years ago.

On the other hand, think about the spice industry. McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) is the largest player in this industry. I find it very difficult to imagine that people’s preferences for flavoring foods with spices will change much over the next 20 years – or the next 100 years.

Changing industries are exciting, but they reduce the durability of a businesses’ competitive advantage. With that said, excitement is not necessary for strong investment returns. Investing is certainly a world where slow and steady wins the race.

“I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars; I look around for 1 foot bars that I can step over.”

Warren Buffett’s strategy of buying excellent businesses reduces risk and complexity. It isn’t hard to see that Coca-Cola or American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) have strong competitive advantages. It is orders of magnitude more difficult to examine a biopharmaceutical start-up’s expected value. There is no reason to take chances on over-complicated analysis when you can buy easy-to-understand high-quality businesses. There are no bonus points for difficulty in investing.

Warren Buffett’s investment strategy matches well with dividend growth investing. While Warren Buffett does not require the businesses in which he invests to pay dividends, most of them do. All of Warren Buffett’s top 5 holdings pay increasing dividends year-after-year – giving them a solid chance of eventually joining the Dividend Aristocrats (stocks with 25+ years of consecutive dividend increases). Coca-Cola, one of Buffett’s largest position, is already an Aristocrat.

Benjamin Graham Investing Quotes

Benjamin Graham has been called “the father of Value Investing” and “the dean of Wall Street,” and probably has had more intellectual influence than any other investor on this list. His two critically-acclaimed books Security Analysis and The Intelligent Investor introduced important concepts like Mr. Market and the margin of safety and have had a tremendous amount of influence on millions of investors worldwide.

Warren Buffett has said the following about Graham’s book The Intelligent Investor:

“I read the first edition of this book early in 1950, when I was nineteen. I thought then that it was by far the best book about investing ever written. I still think it is.”

What differentiated Benjamin Graham from the other investors of his day? Well, Graham was one of the first investors to become laser-focused on price. Graham was not interested in just prices, but how they related to yardsticks of business value (such as earnings and book value).

Overall, one of the defining charcteristics of Graham’s research style was the desire to quantify every aspect of a company’s characteristics. This can be seen from the beginning of The Intelligent Investor, where Graham writes:

…we hope to implant in the reader a tendency to measure or quantify. For 99 issues out of 100 we could say that at some price they are cheap enough to buy and at some other price they would be so dear that they should be sold. The habit of relating what is paid to what is being offered is an invaluable trait in investment. In an article in a women’s magazine many years ago we advised the readers to buy their stocks as they bought their groceries, not as they bought their perfume. The really dreadful losses of the past few years (and on many similar occasions before) were realized in those common-stock issues where the buyer forgot to ask ”How much?”

As alluded to previously, Graham was also the creator of the concept of a “margin of safety.” A margin of safety is the difference between an investor’s purchase price and the intrinsic value of the investment in question. The larger a margin of safety, the better for the investor.

Graham introduces the margin of safety with the following passage in The Intelligent Investor:

“The margin-of-safety idea becomes much more evident when we apply it to the field of undervalued or bargain securities. We have here, by definition, a favorable difference between price on the one hand and indicated or appraised value on the other. That difference is the safety margin. It is available for absorbing the effect of miscalculations or worse than average luck. The buyer of bargain issues places particular emphasis on the ability of the investment to withstand adverse developments. For in most such cases he has no real enthusiasm about the company’s prospects. True, if the prospects are definitely bad the investor will prefer to avoid the security no matter how low the price. But the field of undervalued issues is drawn from the many concerns-perhaps a majority of the total-for which the future appears neither distinctly promising nor distinctly unpromising. If these are bought on a bargain basis, even a moderate decline in the earning power need not prevent the investment from showing satisfactory results. The margin of safety will then have served its proper purpose.“

One of Graham’s other grand contributions to the field of investing is the psychological concept of “Mr. Market,” which was referenced in the introduction to this section.

Mr. Market is an analogy to help investors understand and endure the volatility that is inherent in the stock market. Graham explains Mr. Market as follows:

“Imagine that in some private business you own a small share that cost you $1,000. One of your partners, named Mr. Market, is very obliging indeed. Every day he tells you what he thinks your interest is worth and furthermore offers either to buy you out or to sell you an additional interest on that basis. Sometimes his idea of value appears plausible and justified by business developments and prospects as you know them. Often, on the other hand, Mr. Market lets his enthusiasm or his fears run away with him, and the value he proposes seems to you a little short of silly.

If you are a prudent investor or a sensible businessman, will you let Mr. Market’s daily communication determine your view of the value of a $1,000 interest in the enterprise? Only in case you agree with him, or in case you want to trade with him. You may be happy to sell out to him when he quotes you a ridiculously high price, and equally happy to buy from him when his price is low. But the rest of the time you will be wiser to form your own ideas of the value of your holdings, based on full reports from the company about its operations and financial position.

The true investor is in that very position when he owns a listed common stock. He can take advantage of the daily market price or leave it alone, as dictated by his own judgment and inclination. He must take cognizance of important price movements, for otherwise his judgment will have nothing to work on. Conceivably they may give him a warning signal which he will do well to heed-this in plain English means that he is to sell his shares because the price has gone down, foreboding worse things to come. In our view such signals are misleading at least as often as they are helpful. Basically, price fluctuations have only one significant meaning for the true investor. They provide him with an opportunity to buy wisely when prices fall sharply and to sell wisely when they advance a great deal. At other times he will do better if he forgets about the stock market and pays attention to his dividend returns and to the operating results of his companies.”

The Mr. Market analogy helps investors remember that the price movements within the stock market can sometimes be highly irrational, and helps investors to weather – and even benefit from – the resulting volatility.

Joel Greenblatt Investing Quotes

Joel Greenblatt is a 60 year old value investor and author. He managed the hedge fund Gotham Capital from 1985 to 2006 and generated absurd annual returns of 40% a year. Joel Greenblatt’s books include You Can Be a Stock Market Genius and The Little Book that Beats the Market.

Joel Greenblatt now employs formula-based value investing. His strategy involves looking for businesses with high margins trading at a low price in relation to earnings. He currently has several mutual funds available (all with very high expense ratios).

Rule/formula based investing has a distinct advantage. It eliminates bias and emotion from the investing process. As a formula-based investor, Joel Greenblatt recognizes the advantages of this approach.

“Decisions to buy and sell stocks should be based solely on the investment merits.”

Joel Greenblatt, like all the investors discussed above, seeks to limit downside risk. His downside risk protection method is similar to that of Warren Buffett and Seth Klarman; Joel Greenblatt looks for a margin of safety. As mentioned, a margin of safety refers to the difference between the estimate of what you think a business is worth and what it is trading for on the stock market. The larger the discount on the market, the more margin for error you have in your value calculation.

“One way to create an attractive risk/reward situation is to limit downside risk severely by investing in situations that have a large margin of safety.”

In addition to the margin of safety, Joel Greenblatt also recommends investing in situations where you are both knowledgeable and confident.

“It makes sense that if you limit your investments to those situations where you are knowledgeable and confident, and only those situations, your success rate will be very high.”

The underlying value of businesses does not bounce around much from day-to-day.   Stock prices, however do.

“Prices fluctuate more than values—so therein lies opportunity.”

Rapidly fluctuating stock prices create opportunities when price falls below value. Patient investors must have the discipline to both buy and hold positions where price falls below value.

“Time is the currency of everyone’s life.”

Dividend growth investors prefer buying and holding high-quality businesses for the long run. Businesses that reliably pay increasing dividends year-after-year provide rising income for dividend growth investors. When funds are invested in high-quality businesses, little else must be done. This builds wealth while taking less time than other investment methods. Day trading, for example, requires constant attention on a daily basis. This reduces the time you have to pursue other, more rewarding non-investment activities.

Seth Klarman Investing Quotes

Seth Klarman is the 60-year-old founder of the Baupost Group hedge fund. Baupost Group has about $30 billion in assets under management.

Seth Klarman is a risk-averse value investor. He wrote the preface for the 6thedition of Security Analysis. Seth Klarman’s own book, Margin of Safety sells for over $1,000.

Like Warren Buffett, Seth Klarman prefers to invest for long periods of time. While he is not in the ‘hold forever’ camp, Seth Klarman does advocate a long-term mindset.

“The single greatest edge an investor can have is a long-term orientation.” 

The above Seth Klarman quote is incredibly powerful. It spells out in no uncertain terms how important investing for the long-run is. Having a long-term orientation prevents speculation by forcing investors to focus on business fundamentals rather than short-term price movement.

Indeed, the ability to sell when you want to instead of when you have to is tremendously powerful.

“The trick of successful investors is to sell when they want to, not when they have to.”

To have a long-term orientation, one must not be forced to sell their stocks. Dividend stocks are unique in their ability to provide both current income while maintaining long-term growth prospects. The ultimate goal of building a dividend growth portfolio is to have dividend income fully cover all expenses. In this scenario, investors only have to sell when they want to, never because they have to.

We described Klarman as a risk-averse value investor in the introduction to this section. Klarman has a laser-sharp focus on downside protection and loss avoidance.

“The avoidance of loss is the surest way to ensure a profitable outcome.”

Taking unnecessary risk will lead to large losses. Loss avoidance is critical for investing success. When investors focus on minimizing downside risk, the upside tends to take care of itself. Investing in businesses with strong competitive advantages trading at fair or better prices is perhaps the best way to avoid long-term losses.

Klarman has implemented the heavily-quantified characteristics taught by Benjamin Graham in Security Analysis and The Intelligent Investor. With that said, he warns against being precise instead of being accurate.

“Many investors insist on affixing exact values to their investments, seeking precision in an imprecise world, but business value cannot be precisely determined.”

Investing would be extremely easy if there were a way to precisely determine the value of a business. Discounted cash flow analysis uses various inputs and estimates and produces an ‘exact business value’. Of course, this value is not ‘real’, it is only a projection based on the various inputs used in the formula. investors would be wise to avoid trying to label businesses with an exact value as such a task is impossible.

Klarman also recognizes the importance of understanding a company’s real operations. Buying shares of a company whose business is incomprehensible is a surefire way to lose money in the stock market.

“If you don’t quickly comprehend what a company is doing, then management probably doesn’t either.”

As discussed in the Warren Buffett section above, investors don’t get bonus points or extra return for degree of difficulty. If a business is exceptionally difficult to understand, then anyone’s analysis will likely miss important details. Further, it is more difficult to manage a complex business. Simple business models are easier to manage, measure, and improve.

Peter Lynch Investing Quotes

Peter Lynch averaged an investment return of 29.2% between 1977 and 1990 when he ran the Magellan Fund. He has shared his investing wisdom in several books including One up on Wall Street and Beating the Street.

Peter Lynch’s investing philosophy focuses on buying fast-growing stocks (typically small-caps) for cheap. Peter Lynch pioneered the PEG ratio. The PEG stand for price-to-earnings-to-growth. It is the P/E ratio divided by the growth rate. A PEG ratio under 1 signals a ‘buy’ for Peter Lynch.

Like Warren Buffett and Seth Klarman, Peter Lynch likes simple stocks – maybe even more than the two previously mentioned investors. The two quotes below emphasize simplicity in investing.

“The simpler it is, the better I like it.”

“If you’re prepared to invest in a company, then you ought to be able to explain why in simple language that a fifth grader could understand, and quickly enough so the fifth grader won’t get bored.”

The ‘5th grader’ test above is an excellent litmus test to see if you really understand what a business does. If a 5th grader can understand the business model, then the company is likely very focused on what it does best.

“Go for a business that any idiot can run – because sooner or later, any idiot is probably going to run it.”

In keeping with the simplicity narrative, Peter Lynch recommends investing in businesses that ‘any idiot can run’. This means businesses with strong competitive advantages that are very straightforward. It is an unfortunate truth that often times the CEO’s and top-level executives are the best at climbing the corporate ladder, and not necessarily the best at running a business (this, of course, is not always the case). A fantastic business has a much better chance at ‘weathering the storm’ of incompetent management versus a mediocre business.

“Stocks aren’t lottery tickets. There’s a company attached to every share.”

Many investors forget that stocks are fractional ownership of a business. They are not random ticker symbol lottery tickets that bounce up and down in value. Just because the stock market allows you to buy and sell every day does not mean it is advisable to do so. If you own your own business or are in a partnership, you would never consider selling every day.   Why would it be any different in with fractional ownership of a larger business?

“Owning stocks is like having children — don’t get involved with more than you can handle.”

Peter Lynch (and Warren Buffett and Seth Klarman) advocates running a relatively concentrated portfolio. There is no point in buying 100’s of securities – it is impossible to track the business operations of all of them. Rather, investors should invest in businesses they know and understand well. Over diversifying leads to mistakes.

Phil Fisher Investing Quotes

Phil Fisher is the secretive investor who ran the family office Fisher & Co., which invested money on behalf of approximately a dozen wealthy families. His investment knowledge has been distilled to the public through his excellent book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits.

Phil Fisher stands out among the investors covered in this article because he is a devoted growth investor. He believed in buying companies that are growing far faster than the other companies in their peer group.

“The greatest investment reward comes to those who by good luck or good sense find the occasional company that over the years can grow in sales and profits far more than industry as a whole.”

Two other components of his investment style stand out: his long-term investing style and his contrarian nature. These components of Phil Fisher’s investing style can be seen in the following passage from Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits:

“In studying the investment record both of myself and others, two matters were significant influences in causing this book to be written. One, which I mention several times elsewhere, is the need for patience if big profits are to be made from investment. Put another way, it is often easier to tell what will happen to the price of a stock than how much time will elapse before it happens. The other is the inherently deceptive nature of the stock market. Doing what everybody else is doing at the moment, and therefore what you have an almost irresistible urge to do, is often the wrong thing to do at all.”

Fisher also believed that every investor’s first-hand experience as a consumer was tremendously valuable for finding investment opportunities. This approach, which he calls “scuttlebutt investing,” is quite similar to Peter Lynch’s research style.

“Every time you shop in a store, eat a hamburger or buy new sunglasses you’re getting valuable input. By browsing around you can see what’s selling and what isn’t.”

Above all, though, Fisher’s most iconic characteristic is his long-term orientation. This can be seen in Fisher’s best-known quote, which is shown below.

“If the job has been correctly done when a common stock is purchased, the time to sell it is—almost never.”

Final Thoughts

All of the investors mentioned in this article have excellent investing records. The combined wisdom of these investors shows what works in investing. In summary, investors should look for easy to understand businesses with strong competitive advantages. These businesses should be held for the long-run, or until they no longer have competitive advantages.

Investors should look for undervalued businesses. An excellent business trading at the value of a mediocre business is undervalued. If you buy quality for a normal price, you get a bargain. The 8 Rules of Dividend Investing use many of the ideas of great investors to find high quality dividend stocks trading at fair or better prices suitable for long-term holding.

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Investment company John Paulson buys Vistra Energy Corp, Altaba Inc, T-Mobile US Inc, VWR Corp, Horizon Pharma PLC, Xcerra Corp, New Relic Inc, Monsanto Co, Dova Pharmaceuticals Inc, C.R. Bard Inc, sells Extended Stay America Inc, Akorn Inc, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Mead Johnson Nutrition Co, The WhiteWave Foods Co during the 3-months ended 2017-06-30, according to the most recent filings of the investment company, Paulson & Co.. As of 2017-06-30, Paulson & Co. owns 108 stocks with a total value of $7.4 billion. These are the details of the buys and sells.

New Purchases: VST, AABA, VWR, HZNP, XCRA, NEWR, DOVA, BCR, TGNA, CTRP, Added Positions: TMUS, VRX, DISH, MON, MBBYF, TEAM, RAI, NXPI, FDX, ISRG, Reduced Positions: STAY, TEVA, SHPG, AGN, MYL, ALXN, MNK, AIG, RLGY, STE, Sold Out: AKRX, MJN, WWAV, EBAY, PFE, FGL, ETSY, NSR, BIIB, SRPT,

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

These are the top 5 holdings of John PaulsonAllergan PLC (AGN) – 2,703,570 shares, 8.94% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 8.1%Mylan NV (MYL) – 15,933,600 shares, 8.41% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 7.76%Shire PLC (SHPG) – 3,481,600 shares, 7.83% of the total portfolio. Shares reduced by 12.92%SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) – 4,359,722 shares, 7% of the total portfolio. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX) – 21,813,400 shares, 5.13% of the total portfolio. Shares added by 12.53%New Purchase: Vistra Energy Corp (VST)

John Paulson initiated holdings in Vistra Energy Corp. The purchase prices were between $14.59 and $16.86, with an estimated average price of $15.72. The stock is now traded at around $18.09. The impact to the portfolio due to this purchase was 2.63%. The holdings were 11,530,556 shares as of 2017-06-30.

learn stock market: EnLink Midstream Partners, LP(ENLK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.MONEYSHOW.COM]

    EnLink Midstream Partners (ENLK) is sponsored by independent oil and gas exploration giant Devon Energy (DVN), the owner of this acreage.

    These basins offer superior economics and EnLink’s close relationship with Devon provides leveraged exposure to the upstream operator’s accelerating activity in these plays.

learn stock market: THERMOGENESIS Corp.(KOOL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: KOOL) had a 10% owner come in with a big-time purchase. Boyalfe bought a total of 6,102,942 shares of the stock a $2.52. The total for the purchase was posted at $6,838, 237.The company develops and manufactures automated blood and bone marrow processing systems that enable the separation, processing and preservation of cell and tissue therapy products. Its stock traded on Friday’s close at $3.45, so a well-timed buy.The 52-week range is $1.60 to $7.39. The consensus price targetis $2.

learn stock market: Coca-Cola Company (The)(KO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) will share its latest quarterly earnings on Wednesday. The consensus estimates call for $0.58 in EPS and $9.65 billion in revenue. Shares ended last week at $45.03, in a 52-week range of $39.88 to $46.06. The consensus price target is $45.68.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    We recently reached out to our retailer contacts to get an updated read on recent performance of Monster. Based on retailer feedback, we see a negative risk/reward for the stock ahead of Q4 results on 3/1 given: (1) soft scanner data, particularly in Dec & Jan as energy sales are definitely soft compared to other categories according to one retailer while another reported Monster started 2017 off horribly; (2) Java production issues persist; (3) poor retailer feedback on the rollout of Mutant continues in part based on the view that Coca-Cola (KO) is not executing on all cylinders and consumer reception of the product has not shown it to be anything great and certainly at this point is no threat to Mt. Dew; and (4) retailers modest outlook for Monster in 2017 (low- to mid-single digit growth on average).

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Coca-Cola Co.(NYSE: KO) was the exact same stake of 400 million shares. This has been a position thatalso has remained static, and Buffett has defended his stake here for years.

  • [By Craig Jones]

    On CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report," Pete Najarian said that he noticed unusually high bullish options activity in The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO).

  • [By Demitrios Kalogeropoulos]

    That’s why many investors shop among the short list ofDividend Aristocrats, which are companies that boast an unbroken streak of at least 25 years of consecutive payout raises. A few members of that elite group have fallen out of favor recently and could represent solid long-term buys. Below, we’ll look at the prospects for market-beating returns fromCoca-Cola(NYSE:KO),Target(NYSE:TGT), andLowe’s(NYSE:LOW).

  • [By Casey Wilson]

    Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) CEO Muhtar Kent snagged an outrageously high bonus last year, even though the beverage distributer reported less than stellar financials.

learn stock market: Xplore Technologies Corp(XPLR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

     

    General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.60 per share on revenue of $3.86 billion.
    Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE: PIR) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.05 per share on revenue of $420.05 million.
    Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $2.03 per share on revenue of $847.79 million.
    Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $2.40 per share on revenue of $4.49 billion.
    Worthington Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WOR) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.64 per share on revenue of $692.48 million.
    Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.29 per share on revenue of $94.64 million.
    UniFirst Corp (NYSE: UNF) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $1.34 per share on revenue of $366.28 million.
    Exfo Inc (NASDAQ: EXFO) is expected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.06 per share on revenue of $60.87 million.
    OMNOVA Solutions Inc. (NYSE: OMN) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.14 per share on revenue of $205.40 million.
    8Point3 Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ: CAFD) is estimated to post a quarterly loss at $0.01 per share on revenue of $11.60 million.
    Park Electrochemical Corp. (NYSE: PKE) is expected to report its quarterly earnings at $0.22 per share on revenue of $35.30 million.
    Xplore Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ: XPLR) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.01 per share on revenue of $24.00 million.
    Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE: IRET) is expected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.14 per share on revenue of $56.87 million.
    Tel-Instrument Electronics Corp. (NYSE: TIK) is estimated to post earnings for the latest quarter.
    Aethlon Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEMD) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $0.20 per share.
    Ossen Innovation Co Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: OSN) is projected to post ea

learn stock market: WEX Inc.(WEX)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Benzinga News Desk]

    Carl Icahn has big plans for the US auto-parts sector — and big retailers like AutoZone (NYSE: AZO), O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ: ORLY) and Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP) aren’t going to like them: Link

    ECONOMIC DATA
    USA Unit Labor Costs (QoQ) for Q1 2.20% vs 2.50% consensus estimate. Nonfarm Productivity (QoQ) for Q1 0.00% vs -0.20% consensus estimate.
    US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for May is schedule for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
    Data on factory orders for April will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
    The ISM non-manufacturing index for May is schedule for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.
    The labor market conditions index for May will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
    The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.
    The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index for May is schedule for release at 12:30 p.m. ET.
    ANALYST RATINGS
    HSBC upgraded Chevron (NYSE: CVX) from Hold to Buy
    Susquehanna upgraded Skechers (NYSE: SKX) from Neutral to Positive
    Deutsche Bank upgraded WEX (NYSE: WEX) from Hold to Buy
    Pacific Crest downgraded Apple from Overweight to Sector Weight
    RBC downgraded Perrigo (NYSE: PRGO) from Sector Perform to Underperform
    Wedbush downgraded Endocyte (NASDAQ: ECYT) from Outperform to Neutral

    This is a tool used by the Benzinga News Desk each trading day — it's a look at everything happening in the market, in five minutes. To get the full version of this note every morning, click here or email minutes@benzinga.com.

stock market indicators

Most of us need to accumulate a significant war chest for retirement that can produce much-needed income to supplement Social Security checks. It’s smart to devise a retirement plan early — and to consider making a Roth IRA a part of it.

A Roth IRA offers some meaningful tax advantages. For example, your contributions will grow over time and your withdrawals in retirement can be free of federal taxes! Withdrawals from a traditional IRA are taxed as ordinary income in federal and state taxes. Let’s take a closer look at how IRAs (especially Roth IRAs) can strengthen your future financial security and eventually provide valuable retirement income.

Image source: Getty Images.

Traditional and Roth IRAs can enhance your retirement

Let’s first review just what IRAs are and how they work. There are two main kinds of IRAs — the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA. With a traditional IRA, you contribute pre-tax money, reducing your taxable income for the year, and thereby reducing your taxes, too. (Taxable income of $75,000 and a $5,000 contribution? You’ll only report $70,000 in taxable income for the year.) The money grows in your account and is taxed at your ordinary income tax rate when you withdraw it in retirement. Many of us will be in lower tax brackets in retirement, so not only is our taxation postponed, but it’s often reduced. That’s the tax break you get with a traditional IRA.

stock market indicators: Deckers Outdoor Corporation(DECK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Hanesbrands was just one of many retail companies that got shellacked this week. Under Armour (UAA) tumbled 29% after missing earnings forecasts and cutting its guidance, while Deckers Outdoor (DECK) plunged 21% after its earnings missed the Street consensus, and Ralph Lauren (RL) plummeted 13% after its CEO stepped down.

  • [By Taylor Cox]

    Analyst/Investor Days

    Finjan Holdings, Inc (NASDAQ: FNJN)
    Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR)
    Delta Air Lines, Inc (NYSE: DAL)
    Deckers Outdoor Corporation (NYSE: DECK) annual shareholder meeting, to vote on Marcato Capital board nominees

    Legal

  • [By Matt Hogan]

    SKX is also highly attractive in a relative basis when compared to several of its publicly traded peers: Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL), Deckers Outdoor Group (NYSE: DECK), Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) and Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ: COLM). The company's forward EBITDA multiple of 6.9x is equal or below all of the comparable companies: FL (6.9x), DECK (7.6x), WWW (10.1x) and COLM (10.8x).

stock market indicators: Trevena, Inc.(TRVN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Gainers
    Trevena Inc (NASDAQ: TRVN) rose 10.8 percent to $3.60 in pre-market trading after dropping 4.97 percent on Wednesday.
    Yum China Holdings Inc (NYSE: YUMC) rose 10.2 percent to $31.05 in pre-market trading after the company reported upbeat earnings for its first quarter.
    Seres Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: MCRB) rose 9.1 percent to $11.39 in pre-market trading after dropping 5.26 percent on Wednesday.
    Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ: PLUG) rose 8.9 percent to $2.45 in pre-market trading after surging 73.08 percent on Wednesday.
    Coach Inc (NYSE: COH) rose 6.7 percent to $41.98 in pre-market trading. Coach named Ian Bickley as President, Global Business Development and Strategic Alliances.
    Sapiens International Corporation N.V. (NASDAQ: SPNS) shares rose 6.1 percent to $13.91 in pre-market trading after gaining 0.54 percent on Wednesday.
    Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: JAZZ) rose 6.1 percent to $149.15 in pre-market trading. Jazz Pharma reached a settlement with Hikma Pharma related to Xyrem patent case. Mizuho downgraded Jazz from Buy to Neutral.
    Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: IBKR) shares rose 6 percent to $36.72 in pre-market trading after declining 0.03 percent on Wednesday.
    Rewalk Robotics Ltd (NASDAQ: RWLK) rose 5.3 percent to $2.00 in pre-market trading after the company disclosed that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs purchased 28 added Exoskeleton Systems.
    Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MACK) rose 5.1 percent to $3.29 in pre-market trading. Merrimack declared a $1.06 special dividend.
    BioTime, Inc. (NYSE: BTX) shares rose 4.8 percent to $3.50 in pre-market trading. BioTime, reported the formation of new subsidiary AgeX Therapeutics, Inc.
    Akari Therapeutics PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ: AKTX) shares rose 4.8 percent to $12.26 in pre-market trading after gaining 0.69 percent on Wednesday.
    Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) rose 3.6 percent to $39.15 in pre-market trading after the company posted better-than
  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Trevena Inc. (NASDAQ: TRVN) dropped about 6.3% Thursday, to post a new 52-week low of $3.70 after closing at $3.95 on Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week high is $9.73. Volume was nearly 5 times the daily average of around 700,000 shares. The company’s pain-killing drug got mixed results in a trial result reported Tuesday.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Trevena Inc. (NASDAQ: TRVN) reported positive results from two late-stage clinical trials that work to treat post-surgical pain. The company intends to submit these results to the FDA for a marketing approval agreement in the fourth quarter. Previously, oliceridine was approved for a breakthrough designation by the agency.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Trevena Inc (NASDAQ: TRVN) shares dropped 36 percent to $4.55 despite a positive development in Phase 3 trials. Trevena announced positive top-line results from ongoing Phase 3 trials called "APOLLO-1" and "APOLLO-2." The studies evaluated the safety of Trevena's oliceridine therapy in patients for 48 hours following bunionectomy and 24 hours following abdominoplasty.

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    Shares of clinical-stage biopharma Trevena (NASDAQ:TRVN) fell nearly 12% today after it reported full-year 2016 earnings. The pre-revenue company didn’t announce any surprises one way or the other. However, investors appear to be considering the near-term consequences of swelling expenses that won’t be offset by product sales anytime soon.

stock market indicators: Coca-Cola Company (The)(KO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Shanthi Rexaline]

    Although estimates are not available, beverage giants such as PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS) and The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) also benefit from SNAP. When there was a move in 2011 to bring about restrictions on SNAP purchases, Pepsi reportedly spent $750,000 in the third quarter of 2011 on lobbying alone.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Coca-Cola Co.(NYSE: KO) was the exact same stake of 400 million shares. This has been a position thatalso has remained static, and Buffett has defended his stake here for years.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Yes, Coca-Cola (KO) announced a CEO swap last week, but that has nothing to do with Morgan Stanley’s decision to cut Coca-Cola to Equal Weight from Overweight. Morgan Stanley analyst Dara Mohsenian and team explain what did:

    Getty Images

    We view Coke valuation as fair here, given topline challenges, with results limited by secular health/wellness challenges in developed markets and by weak macros in emerging markets. We also are even more cautious on large cap multinationals in general, given direct and indirect impacts from a Trump administration: 1) less favorable relative tax benefits from policy changes than domestic centric manufacturers, 2) the indirect impact of a strengthening US dollar, and 3) lower leverage to a potential US macro recovery from greater fiscal spending (which will have less impact on defensive large cap staples). Our downgrade is not related to the recent CEO change. We view James Quincey favorably, and we expect (and encourage) him to push harder on the favorable strategic changes Coke announced in October 2014.

    No matter. Shares of Coca-Cola have advanced 0.2% to $41.62 at 12:36 p.m. today.

stock market indicators: General Growth Properties, Inc.(GGP)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    GGP Inc. (NYSE: GGP) posted a new 52-week low of $22.12 on Wednesday, down about 2.2% compared with Tuesday’s closing price of $22.61. The stock’s 52-week high is $32.10. Volume of around 4 million shares was about 20% below the daily average of around 5 million shares. The retail REIT had no specific news.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The stock posting the largest daily percentage gain in the S&P 500 ahead of the close Tuesday was GGP Inc. (NYSE: GGP) which rose about 17% to $22.21. The stocks 52-week range is $18.83 to $27.10. Volume was about51 million compared to its average volume of 5.7 million.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    GGP Inc. (NYSE: GGP) posted a new 52-week low of $21.05 on Wednesday, down about 8.6% from Tuesday’s closing price of $23.04. The stock’s 52-week high is $31.35. Volume totaled around 17 million shares, well over double the daily average of around 6.5 million. The REIT missed revenue estimates this morning.

stock market indicators: MGIC Investment Corporation(MTG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Feroldi, Chuck Saletta, Tyler Crowe, Jason Hall, and Jordan Wathen]

    With that in mind, we asked a team of Fools each to highlight a stock that a billionaire investor has been selling recently. Read on to see why they chose Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT:LNG), Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU), MGIC Investment Corporation (NYSE:MTG), and Extended Stay America (NYSE:STAY).

stock market indicators: NQ Mobile Inc.(NQ)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    On Thursday, telecommunications services shares gained by 0.42 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included 8×8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT), up 4 percent, and NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE: NQ), up 2 percent.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE: NQ) shares dropped 16 percent to $3.88 after the company issued an update on the FL Mobile divestment. NQ Mobile is expected to report Q4 financial results on March 21, 2016.

  • [By Belinda Cao]

    Oberweis China Opportunities Fund (OBCHX), the best-performing U.S.-based fund investing in Chinese stocks, said Internet companies from NQ Mobile Inc. (NQ) to Qihoo 360 Technology Co. (QIHU) will extend a rally after jumping more than three-fold this year.

trading stocks

Tuesday looked like it was going to be an exciting follow-up to Monday’s robust up-day, but early gains quickly deteriorated into losses, including a 0.07% dip for the S&P 500. And those losses look ready to accelerate as we head into Wednesday’s early action thanks primarily because of more tumult from the White House.

While the morning ramps up with news out of the earnings sector, a few stocks are consolidating big moves this morning, including BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY). The broader market itself could get interesting, too, as measured by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY).

Here’s what you need to know.

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY)

U.S. stock futures were down by more than half a percent Wednesday morning in the aftermath of Tuesday’s breathtaking allegations that President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey back in February, “I hope you can let this go,” referencing the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn.

trading stocks: CNO Financial Group, Inc.(CNO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    CNO Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CNO) dropped about 8.1% on Friday to post a new 52-week low of $14.29 against a 52-week high of $20.88. Volume of more than 6 million was more than 3 times the daily average of around 1.8 million. The stock closed at $15.55 on Thursday night. The company on Thursday cut its re-insurance agreements with Beechwood Re following disclosure that regulators that many of Beechwood’s assets did not comply with insurance company guidelines.

trading stocks: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd.(TSM)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ashraf Eassa]

    As part of this discussion, he took the time to explain how the technology that Intel calls 14 nanometers is more like what its competitors — Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.(NYSE:TSM) — call 10 nanometers (smaller is generally believed to be better).

  • [By Ashraf Eassa]

    For many years, NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) has relied on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM) to manufacture the graphics chips it designs. Today, most of NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture-based graphics processors — from the GeForce GTX 1060, designed for mainstream PC gamers, all the way through its cutting edge Tesla P100 datacenter accelerators — are manufactured by TSMC.

  • [By Ashraf Eassa]

    Contract-chip manufacturing giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM) recently announced its earnings results, provided forward guidance for the current quarter, and provided a lot of insight on the ramp-up of its next-generation chip-manufacturing technology, called 10-nanometers (10nm for short).

  • [By Ashraf Eassa]

    A while back, DigiTimes reported that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM), a major contract chip manufacturer, planned to introduce an enhanced variant of its 16nm manufacturing technology dubbed “12nm.”

  • [By Ashraf Eassa]

    To illustrate my point, Intel’s chief competitor, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM), has said that its 7-nanometer technology, which should go into mass production in the first half of 2018, delivers a roughly 1.63-fold density improvement over its 10-nanometer technology.

trading stocks: Coca-Cola Company (The)(KO)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matthew Frankel]

    I won’t keep you in suspense — Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) owns 400,000,000 shares of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), worth a total of $16.7 billion as of this writing. This translates to a 9.4% stake in the beverage giant, and makes Coca-Cola Buffett’s third-largest stock investment.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Some money managers are indeed preparing for Armageddon, expecting a thin summer trading season to usher in the bear. But Cramer said that, ultimately, what happens in Washington has little impact on the earnings of stocks like Walmart (WMT) , Coca-Cola (KO) or Citigroup (C) . It also has no correlation to the 17.8% move in Nvidia (NVDA) , nor the 12.8% jump in Electronic Arts (EA) .

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Coca-Cola Co.(NYSE: KO) was the exact same stake of 400 million shares. This has been a position thatalso has remained static, and Buffett has defended his stake here for years.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) traded up 1.42% at $45.92. The stock’s 52-week range is $40.22 to $47.48. Volume was about about 30% below the daily average of around 10 million shares. The company had no specific news.

trading stocks: Westar Energy, Inc.(WR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jayson Derrick]

    According to a report by Bloomberg, Westar Energy Inc (NYSE: WR) is a potential takeover target from rival Ameren Corp (NYSE: AEE) and a consortium of investors, including Toronto-based Borealis Infrastructure Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    On Thursday, utilities shares rose by 0.02 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Westar Energy Inc (NYSE: WR), Westar Energy Inc (NYSE: AT), and NRG Energy Inc (NYSE: NRG).

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Thursday, utilities shares fell by 0.34 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Westar Energy Inc (NYSE: WR), down 7 percent, and Companhia de Saneamento Basico (ADR) (NYSE: SBS), down 5 percent.

trading stocks: Hertz Global Holdings Inc(HTZ)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Craig Jones]

    On CNBC's Fast Money Halftime Report, Jon Najarian spoke about a big volume in the May 20 calls in Hertz Global Holdings, Inc (NYSE: HTZ). He believes the stock has some upside potential and he decided to buy the upside calls in the name. He is going to hold them for two to three weeks.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) has been a roller-coaster ride over the past year, and shareholders may be pleased to know that Wall Street legend and renowned investor Carl Icahn, who is also a 10% owner of the company, bought shares again in a big way last week. Icahn bought a total of 15,080,442 shares at a price of $23.43. The total for the buy was posted at a staggering $350 million. Hertz traded on Friday at $28.65, so the timing looks very solid.

  • [By Daniel Sparks]

    Shares of rental car company Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) fell as much as 11.7% on Thursday after analysts at Morgan Stanley cut its price target for the stock from $15 to $12. Shares closed the trading day down about 11.4%.

trading stocks: Continental Resources, Inc.(CLR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Beta Should Lead At The Start of A Rally: Best ideas in the first leg up: Marathon Oil, Devon Energy (DVN), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), and Continental Resources (CLR). If OPEC announces a cut, whether moderate or deep, we expect that in the initial move up, moderate value beta names, like Marathon Oil, Devon Energy, Anadarko Petroleum, andContinental Resources will lead.For a $5 increase in oil prices, we estimate 2017 cash flow per share would increase 12-18% for these stocks vs. the remainder of the group at 12%. Of these four, short interest is modest for all exceptContinental Resources at 25%, among the highest in our universe. Outperformance of these names should be driven by investors adding to long positions, not short covering.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    There has also been a chorus of voices opposing the Paris agreement as well. Twenty-two Republican Senators last week signed a letter calling for the U.S. to withdraw. On the corporate front, Harold Hamm, the CEO of Continental Resources (CLR) and adviser to the Trump campaign, in a letter to Trump ahead of his inauguration reported by the New York Times called on the president to “cancel” the Paris treaty.

  • [By Matthew DiLallo]

    While crude prices stumbled into 2016, they found their footing by mid-year and roared back to life, ending the year up about 42%. Those rising prices lifted most oil stocks. However, a handful of large-cap oil stocks rose above the crowd by outperforming crude’s rally. Those top-tier performers wereContinental Resources (NYSE:CLR), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), and Cimarex Energy (NYSE:XEC):