The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has had an exceptional week so far, edging up to an all-time closing high of 15,567.74 yesterday. The S&P 500 didn't set any records, but its 1,692-point finish keeps its year-to-date gains neck and neck with Mr. Jones.
Despite the Dow's daytime gains, yesterday's major mover was stock market giant Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) , up 3.9% in after-hours trading following its second-quarter earnings report. Not only did the company beat on sales, but its adjusted EPS clocked in at $7.47, beating analyst estimates by 2% above analyst estimates. More telling than the financial numbers, Apple's iPhone proved to be far from dead, with 20% year-over-year sales growth -- Fortune had estimated about 4% growth.
Apple's stock has made massive moves in the last year, and the aftereffects of its latest report could be felt well into the next few months.
Looking ahead, Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU ) and New York Community Bancorp (NYSE: NYCB ) will unveil their own earnings reports today. Baidu may be halfway around the world from the Dow, but as with many Dow components, the Chinese search engine's results are tied to emerging-economy growth. Shares are up 33% in the past three months despite signs of a slowing Chinese economy, and analysts have high expectations for 39% sales growth (although they're willing to let profit edge down 2%).
New York Community Bancorp has big shoes of its own to fill. Shares are up 11.2% over the last three months and 21.7% over the past year. Stock price hikes have pushed its dividend yield down to 6.8%, but that's still double the industry's average 2.9% distribution. The bank has some wiggle room, given expectations for a 7.7% decrease in sales and a $0.04 drop in EPS to $0.26. Investors should look out for the effects of low interest rates, as well as trimmed margins from an increasingly time- and money-consuming regulatory environment.
It's easy to forget macro reports with earnings season speeding ahead, but an all-important housing indicator is set to hit the press this morning. New-home sales headed up 2.1% in May, and analysts are predicting another 1% bump for June. A report earlier this week put existing-home sales down 1.2% for June, alluding to potential trouble for the housing market's recent rise.
Investors will also get a glimpse of the state of manufacturing with Markit's Purchasing Managers' Index. Analysts are optimistic about July's report, expecting a 1.1% increase following June's flatline finish.
Energy analysts should keep an eye on the Energy Information Administration's weekly petroleum report. Crude-oil supplies are near all-time highs, but the last three weeks have seen inventories squeezed as refineries have optimistically increased inputs. Pump prices soared $0.147 in last week's report, creating plenty of room for a downward push today. Energy inventories are considered by many investors to be the economy's biggest "tell," and another inventory decrease could be just what the Dow doctor ordered.
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