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Stocks Take Break From Record-Setting

Stocks Take Break From Record-Setting

Stocks on Wednesday took a breather a day after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched all-time closing highs. Blemishes on earnings reports from the likes of Dow components Caterpillar (CAT, -3.1%) and Boeing (BA, +0.4%) gave traders pause -- at least for one session -- in what has so far been a torrid year for the market. Caterpillar slipped after the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment raised concerns about losing market share to competitors in China. Aerospace titan Boeing managed to finish in positive territory despite missing Wall Street's profit and sales estimates in a quarter marred by the grounding of its flagship 737 Max 8 airliner following two fatal crashes. The blue-chip Dow finished the day off 0.2% at 26,597.

Days like Wednesday underscore the benefits of diversification. It's not unusual for markets to hem and haw when they're trading at or near record highs, and dramatic moves in individual names are just par for the course during earnings season. That's why diversified funds are a great way to ride out any bumps. Investors have access to a wide variety of cheap index funds. Whether they're looking for tax-free income, the best way to invest in an aging bull market or exposure to specific market sectors , there's something for everyone. And when it comes to finding the most affordable funds? It's usually tough to beat Vanguard, whose offerings typically carry lower fees than most or all of the competition. Check out these extremely low-cost Vanguard exchange-traded funds that can be used piecemeal, or invest in all eight ETFs to build a core portfolio.

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