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As evidence of the continuing bull market, Kinder Morgan, Inc.’s (KMI) massive acquisition of its partnership companies is a significant sign that business conditions remain strong in the energy industry. Kinder Morgan surprised the marketplace by announcing plans to purchase Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (KMP), Kinder Morgan…

The monetary environment is still highly favorable to stocks and should continue to be so well into 2015. However, while this market can handle higher interest rates, stocks can only advance in a higher interest rate environment if gross domestic product (GDP) growth is there to back it…

The Dow Jones Transportation Average is close to breaking its 50-day simple moving average. This, in itself, is not the end of the world; it did so most recently in April and recovered nicely. But it is worth keeping an eye on, especially because the stock market is…

In what is on par with the course in today’s stock market, biotechnology firm Amgen Inc. (AMGN) posted double-digit revenue and earnings growth while raising its full-year outlook. The kicker for this stock and its recent price strength was the news that the company plans to cut 12%–15%…

The numbers are piling in, and there have been some disappointments as usual. This is why individual stock selection always matters in a portfolio, and equity investors should be willing to make changes depending on what stage of the business cycle a company is experiencing. One company that’s…

While business conditions are pretty good in the domestic oil and gas business, they’re also holding up very well in the railroad sector. If railroad companies and related services are old economy, they are still important economic benchmarks and they continue to be great businesses producing excellent returns…

Crude oil has pulled back from its recent price strength, but it’s still holding up pretty well above the $100.00-per-barrel mark for West Texas Intermediate (WTI). Energy is still a top sector for equity portfolios, but it is the case that many oil stocks have already moved up…

One stock that’s experiencing serious upward price momentum is in the equipment rental business. Momentum stocks might typically be associated with other market sectors, but United Rentals, Inc. (URI) is doing fantastic operationally and the market is bidding. It’s kind of odd to think of an equipment rental…

The numbers are still coming in pretty good this earnings season and corporate outlooks are holding up well for the year. Stocks have been trading off of Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen’s monetary policy report to Congress, and less so on earnings. This market is tired and you…

As a strong believer in the wealth-creating effects of large-cap, dividend paying stocks, I’m also an advocate of dividend reinvestment, which is the purchasing of a company’s shares using the cash dividends paid. This can be done commission-free from your broker and/or through the company itself if it…

One of my favorite companies for long-term, income-seeking investors is Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). While pharmaceuticals are the company’s anchor, its other business lines help with cash flow and dividend increases. Investors have bid Johnson & Johnson shares tremendously in recent years, and it’s difficult to consider buying…

Stocks are going to gyrate around second-quarter earnings, but that’s exactly what this market needs—the corporate bottom line and expectations for the rest of the year. With so many stocks trading at their all-time record-highs, I view investment risk in equities as being high at this time. This…

If there ever was an equity security epitomizing the notion that the stock market is a leading indicator, Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) would fit the bill. This manufacturer is in slow-growth mode, but it’s been going up on the stock market as institutional investors bet on a global resurgence…

One of the best things you can do to learn about the stock market is to read the prospectus of a company that’s either about to list or recently went public. It’s a learning experience that, in many cases, can reveal how expensive it is to actually become…

There are some companies—mature businesses with well-known brands—that continue to execute in a manner worthy of the finest growth stories. While the stock market does its thing every day, I find that there are actually very few investment-quality stocks that deliver respectable returns consistently over time. The business…

The earnings are beginning to flow and it’s a total mixed bag out there again. Carnival Corporation (CCL) beat the Street with its second-quarter numbers, with cruise line sales growing four percent over the second quarter of 2013. Guidance, however, was mediocre and the position sold off on…

Everything in the stock market experiences its own cycle of enthusiasm among investors. And this is especially well illustrated among speculative issues. There was a time only a few years ago when some of the hottest speculative stocks were in solar energy. Now this small equity universe is…

Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) is a company that’s getting upgraded by the Street and earnings estimates are ticking higher. It’s great news for this benchmark stock and top wealth creator. The business cycle in old economy industrial businesses still has legs, and while Union Pacific’s share price is…

It’s a difficult environment in which to be constructing new equity portfolios right now, mostly due to the very simple reason that the stock market is at an all-time record high and it’s likely that monetary policy will change soon. But there is still a great deal of…

With the Dow Jones hitting 17,000 being pretty likely in the not-too-distant future, from there, it’s only another 18% or so until the Dow hits 20,000, which is pretty incredible. These numbers seemed so unrealistic just a few years ago but now, it’s not too farfetched. The most…