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Boeing, J&J Clip the Dow's Wings

Boeing, J&J Clip the Dow's Wings

A 1-2 punch of disappointing economic data and troubling single-stock headlines managed to knock down stocks on Friday. A week of lousy domestic readouts culminated with a second monthly slip in the Conference Board's leading economic index, indicating a slowing U.S. economy. China showed its own sign of sluggishness, as third-quarter GDP growth slipped from 6.2% to 6.0% -- its slowest rate of expansion since 1992. The Dow had more company-specific problems, too. Component Boeing (BA, -6.8%) slumped after the FAA said the aircraft maker withheld "concerning" messages about the flight system of its faulty 737 Max. And Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, -6.2%) reeled after it voluntarily recalled a small amount of its Johnson's Baby Powder after finding "sub-trace" amounts of asbestos in it. By the close, the industrial average pulled back 1.0% to 26,770.

After weeks of hyper-focusing on trade chatter, this week was a time for American investors to "look inward." U.S. corporate earnings have started off well, though we start to get into the meat of the earnings schedule next week with reports from the likes of Amazon.com (AMZN), 3M (MMM) and UPS (UPS). And numerous data points -- industrial production, homebuilding, retailing, jobless claims -- have disappointed or headed in the wrong direction. The result is a murky horizon. The solution? Perhaps a mix of attack and defense. Feeling feisty? A peek into purchases by CEOs, board members and other VIPs may indicate that big things are on the horizon for these 10 stocks. You can sit more toward the middle in these six dividend-growing picks in health care picks -- a sector that can flourish in both boom and bust times. Seeking out a security blanket? Dividends can indeed act as a buffer against downside, especially if they're substantial. These 20 retirement-friendly dividend stocks not only offer an average yield above 4%, but they also boast strong track records of uninterrupted payments, and the necessary cash to keep the regular income checks flowing.

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