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Stock Watch

Stocks Bounce Around on a Big Day for Earnings

As earnings season heats up the stock market went on a roller-coaster ride Thursday, with Facebook stock flourishing and DowDuPont stock floundering.

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The start of February was a roller-coaster affair for the stock market, which had to digest a flurry of earnings reports. Trading started off sluggish at the open before reversing to gains at midday, then capping the session with a middling finish. The Dow closed Thursday, Feb. 1, up 0.1% to 26,186.

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What Happened in the Stock Market Today?

Dow component DowDuPont (DWDP), for instance, retreated 2.8% despite strong revenue growth and better-than-expected profits. Facebook (FB) pulled the market in the other direction, climbing 3.3% to a record high amid a sound earnings beat powered by a 43% jump in average ad prices. Outside the earnings sphere, Amazon (AMZN) -- which recently announced it would team up with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) to come up with a health-care solution for its workers -- retreated 4.2% ahead of its own earnings report, due out Thursday evening. But despite the push and pull, the major indices are sitting on 20%-30% returns over the past year and remain near all-time highs.

Just remember: Growth is great, but don't forget about income for when times are lean. Dividend stocks still need to be a part of your game plan, as they can keep generating returns even if the market flattens out. The Dividend Aristocrats are a great place to start looking for sturdy stocks that provide decent, consistently growing payouts. Value investors, meanwhile, can eke out a little extra income via dividend stocks that have gone into the discount bin. Another place to look for yield? Real estate investment trusts (REITs) -- companies that own and operate real estate, and that by design pay out most of their income as (often generous) dividends. We look at 10 top REIT picks.

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