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No Phase-One Deal This Year? Buy 5 Dividend Aristocrats Now

Tirthankar Chakraborty

It seems completion of a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal may be deferred till next year as Beijing asks for more widespread tariff rollbacks and the Trump administration counters with more demands of its own. President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did say some time back that the initial trade deal may just take five weeks. But, that seems vague now as trade negotiations get more complicated.

The Trump administration realized that rolling back of tariffs for a deal that fails to address core issues, including intellectual property and technology transfer, may not be a good thing. Things have, by the way, become even more complicated with the U.S. International Trade Commission recently saying that the U.S. industry has been affected by imports of aluminum wire and cables from China.

What’s more, China has now condemned a U.S. Senate resolution for supporting human rights issues in Hong Kong. The U.S. Senate passed a bill recently that heavily criticized the crackdown on Hong Kong protesters. This will certainly complicate the completion of the initial trade deal. After all, China has threatened to take “strong countermeasures” if Congress passes the bill.

Trump, in the meanwhile, added that “China is going to have to make a deal that I like and that if we don't make a deal with China, I'll just raise the tariffs even higher.” Lest we forget, a new set of tariffs on nearly $156 billion worth of Chinese products, including holiday gift items, are set to take effect on Dec 15.

The flare-up in trade tensions between Washington and Beijing isn’t good news for the stock market. Trade tensions between two of the world’s largest economies have slowed down global economic growth and squeezed corporate profit margins.

And how can we forget that a possible delay in the U.S.-China trade deal is bringing back shades of a stock market downturn in May for investors. The broader S&P 500 slipped more than 2% over a two-day period in May and the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 500 points, after Trump hinted that the U.S.-China tariff woes are on the rise.

5 Dividend Aristocrats to Buy Now

With a trade deal expected in 2020, things are certainly not looking up for the stock market. Hence, it’s prudent to invest in dividend aristocrats for their risk-adjusted returns. These stocks reflect solid financial structure and healthy underlying fundamentals, and are unperturbed by market volatility. This category of stocks also outperforms other dividend payers on better quality business.

Hence, we have selected five dividend aristocrats to boost your returns. These stocks also possess a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Cintas Corporation CTAS provides corporate identity uniforms and related business services. The company is a high-growth dividend stock. It has raised its dividend 35 years in a row. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 1.8% over the past 60 days.

Kimberly-Clark Corporation KMB manufactures and markets personal care, consumer tissue, and professional products. Kimberly-Clark has raised its dividend for 47 consecutive years. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has risen 0.9% over the past 60 days.

McCormick & Company, Incorporated MKC manufactures, markets, and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments, and other flavorful products to the food industry. The company has paid dividends each year since 1925. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 1.9% over the past 60 days.

Walmart Inc. WMT engages in retail and wholesale operations. The company’s first dividend was 5 cents a share, paid in 1974. It has consistently raised its dividend every year. Currently, it has a dividend yield of 1.8%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved 1.2% north in the past 60 days.

Target Corporation TGT operates as a general merchandise retailer in the United States. The company has raised its dividend for 48 consecutive years. Currently, it has a dividend yield of 2.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has risen 0.3% over the past 60 days.

Cintas, Kimberly-Clark, McCormick & Company, Walmart and Target have a dividend growth rate of 256.1%, 19.1%, 131.3%, 39.5% and 76.7%, respectively, for the past five years. Take a look —


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