Kiplinger's Closing Bell

DAILY INSIGHTS FOR INVESTORS

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Trade Gains Stick a Little More This Time

Trade Gains Stick a Little More This Time

Wednesday delivered where Tuesday didn't. While yesterday saw stocks jump on optimism over Chinese-American trade only to finish with slight losses, today's action included a similar morning jolt -- some of which actually stuck. Investors cheered President Donald Trump's remarks to Reuters that he might intervene in the case of Meng Wanzhou -- the CEO of Chinese tech firm Huawei who was arrested in Canada last week -- all in the name of smoothing trade talks. Also buoying spirits was a flat Consumer Price Index for November, with lower gas prices helping put a lid on inflation. DowDuPont (DWDP, +2.1%) and Caterpillar (CAT, +1.7%) were among 24 of 30 Dow components to finish in the black. The industrial average closed well off its highs, but still managed a 0.6% gain to 24,527.

The nearly 10-year-old bull market has faced some tough tests in 2018, so today was a much-needed sign of vitality. Wall Street appeared to shrug off a possible government shutdown -- typically a market nonfactor -- and focus on the progress toward clearing one of the stock market's tallest hurdles. That's not an invitation to plunge all your money into growth yet, but you should be putting together a wish list. A conservative route is bargain dividend stocks that have turned into relative values over the past three months. If China trade peace really blows the lid off the market, expect big moves in these blue chips with red-hot growth estimates, as well as the high-potential small-cap stock space. You can get aggressive without betting the farm on one or two speculative plays, however. There are a dozen funds that can put you in better position to capture the upside of a rebound while still offering wide diversification across dozens of stocks, several sectors and even different countries:

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