Markets

Stock Market Today: Home-Run Home-Sales Data Delights Wall Street

A boffo pending home sales report Monday, as well as good news for Boeing, kept investors' minds off COVID-19 data and lifted the Dow by more than 580 points.

The market made a clean shot higher on Monday as investors' eyes yet again were diverted from COVID-19 data and toward encouraging economic figures.

The weekend saw continued growth in coronavirus cases across more than a dozen "hot spot" states, prompting governors to consider further actions to slow the spread. New Jersey announced it would not reopen indoor dining this week; New York appears to be considering following suit.

Investors, however, appeared to focus on the real estate market. The National Association of Realtors said May's pending home sales, while off 5.1% year-over-year, surged 44.3% from April's figures – almost triple the improvement economists expected.

The Dow climbed 2.3% to 25,595, led by a massive 14.3% surge in Boeing (BA), which received a Federal Aviation Administration green light to begin test flights on its troubled 737 Max aircraft. The Nasdaq improved 1.2% to 9,874.15, the S&P 500 climbed 1.5% to 3,053, and the small-cap Russell 2000 stole the show with a 3.1% jump to 1,421.

Yet again, investors have plenty to chew on.

"The market is likely to remain in a period of consolidation marked by increased volatility as it digests the historic gains off the COVID-19 low, grapples with the impact of a re-acceleration in cases of coronavirus, anticipates the impact of the coming election, and works through a historic shutdown and reopening of economic activity," writes Canaccord Genuity equity strategist Tony Dwyer, who raised his S&P 500 target to above 3,300 over the next 12 to 18 months. "We have never had the combination of such low core inflation coupled with an unlimited support from the Fed, which is why we use a target of 3300+."

Shows of Strength Stand Out

No one should be surprised at Wall Street's response to economic data such as Monday's pending-home sales report. In the midst of extreme weakness, any displays of outsized strength are going to carry far more weight than under normal circumstances.

Income investors should take a cue here.

Dividend growth is considered not just a badge of honor, but a sign of financial wherewithal – a reason why the Dividend Aristocrats hold such a hallowed place among the income-investing community. However, over the past few months, a slew of companies (including many S&P 500 components) have been forced to take extreme measures, including cutting or even eliminating their dividends, to preserve much-needed cash.

It stands to reason, then, that companies continuing to grow their dividends in that kind of environment are signaling considerably more stable and stronger financial positions. Continue reading as we examine 21 companies that appeared to swim upstream during the COVID-19 outbreak, hiking their cash distributions to investors when many were doing exactly the opposite.

Kyle Woodley was long BA as of this writing.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022
tech stocks

The 12 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for 2022

The best tech-sector picks for the year to come include plays on some of the most exciting emergent technologies, as well as several old-guard mega-ca…
January 3, 2022
How to Know When You Can Retire
retirement

How to Know When You Can Retire

You’ve scrimped and saved, but are you really ready to retire? Here are some helpful calculations that could help you decide whether you can actually …
January 5, 2022

Recommended

Stock Market Today (1/21/22): Nasdaq Sinks Again, Ends Worst Week Since 2020
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (1/21/22): Nasdaq Sinks Again, Ends Worst Week Since 2020

A negative earnings reaction for Netflix (NFLX) and options expiration sparked a volatile session for stocks.
January 21, 2022
Kiplinger's Weekly Earnings Calendar
stocks

Kiplinger's Weekly Earnings Calendar

Check out our earnings calendar for the upcoming week, as well as our previews of the more noteworthy reports.
January 21, 2022
Stock Market Today (1/20/22): Foiled Again! Sizable Snap-Back Fizzles Late
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (1/20/22): Foiled Again! Sizable Snap-Back Fizzles Late

The Nasdaq fell even further into correction territory Thursday after early gains collapsed in the afternoon.
January 20, 2022
The 10 Best European Stocks for 2022 and Beyond
stocks

The 10 Best European Stocks for 2022 and Beyond

A recent pullback in the global equities market has opened the door for investors to buy some of the top dividend-paying European stocks at a discount…
January 20, 2022