Merrill Lynch Makes Changes to US 1 List Amid Market Turmoil

As market pressures continue, investors are hammered with pundits now saying either the sky is falling or we are just in a bull market correction. One thing we know for sure at 24/7 Wall St. is, after years without a true 10% correction, the recent action was long overdue. Many of the top firms we cover on Wall Street are using the sell-off as a chance to reset portfolios for the fourth quarter and next year.

In a new Merrill Lynch research report, the analysts on the US 1 team make changes to the portfolio. Here we cover the new moves, and also update three top dividend-paying stocks on the list. All stocks in the list are rated Buy at Merrill Lynch.

CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) makes its debut on the US 1 stock list. The company provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural and consumer products. Shares have been hit hard on concerns over coal transportation.

CSX investors are paid a solid 2.8% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $34, and the Thomson/First Call consensus target is $34.23. Shares closed Tuesday at $25.94.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) were both removed from the US 1 list. The analysts cite overall portfolio composition as the reason for the removals. Both stocks remain rated Buy at Merrill Lynch.

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The US 1 stocks look like outstanding choices right now as they all offer dividends and a degree of large cap safety.


This top consumer media company with multiple streams of income got absolutely hammered after earnings that were less than expected, promoting a big fear that consumers are “cutting the cable cord.” Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) has the movie studio business poised to improve, as with accelerating theme park business, the network programming continues to drive viewership with extensive sports programming. Most importantly, the company produces tons of content that will keep it a long-term media alternative, and recently announced that Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

The Disney Media Networks segment operates broadcast and cable television networks, domestic television stations, and radio networks and stations, and it is involved in television production and television distribution operations. Its cable networks include ESPN, Disney Channels and ABC Family, as well as UTV/Bindass and Hungama. This segment also owns eight domestic television stations. Disney is also one of 24/7 Wall St.’s top 10 stocks to own for the next decade.

Disney shareholders are paid a 1.33% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target is $130, and the consensus target is $118.57. Shares closed most recently at $99.42.

ALSO READ: 3 Top Airline Stocks to Buy Now as Jet Fuel Prices Continue Plunge

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