So far, 2023 has been a very pleasant change from last year. All the major indexes were up in the first quarter, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the way with a gain of almost 17%, its best quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 2020. The S&P 500 fought its way to a 7% gain despite some big volatility thanks to the bank crisis and cryptocurrency explosions. The Dow Jones industrials barely closed positive for the quarter, up just 0.4%. While a positive start to the year, there is trouble brewing.
The OPEC oil production cut will spike inflation, especially as we head to the busy summer driving season. Bank lending will tighten dramatically after the Silicon Valley Bank implosion, and some like Jamie Dimon think there is more financial damage to follow. Earnings will tumble as all of the Covid largesse has been spent and consumers are spiking credit cards. Lastly, commercial real estate increasingly is looking like the next big shoe to drop.
For those seeking shelter from the coming storm, short Treasury paper makes a ton of sense, and it can be bought directly from many banks and brokerage firms. Of course, a broker can assist in that buying. The six-month T-bill Tuesday was priced to yield 4.82%, while the one-year bill yields 4.46%.
For those looking for safe-haven stocks, we screened the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio looking for the quality names that pay among the largest dividends. Seven stocks hit our screens, and while Warren Buffett loves them along with top Wall Street analysts, it is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
This energy giant is a solid play for investors who are more conservative and looking to be positioned in the sector. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is a U.S.-based integrated oil and gas company with worldwide operations in exploration and production, refining and marketing, transportation, and petrochemicals. The company sports a sizable dividend and has a solid place in natural gas and liquefied natural gas.
With the strongest financial base of the majors, coupled with an attractive relative asset base, many on Wall Street feel that Chevron offers the most straightforwardly positive risk/reward. Although current conditions do not warrant a large focus on production growth, Chevron possesses numerous medium-term drivers that should support production levels in the coming years.
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Chevron reported full-year 2022 earnings of $35.5 billion, well above the $15.6 billion in 2021, and increased its dividend by 6%. This increase puts Chevron on track to make 2023 the 35th consecutive year with an increase in annual dividend payout per share.
Shareholders receive a 3.55% dividend when the increase is factored in. The $212 Raymond James price target is a Wall Street high. The consensus target is $191.59, and Chevron stock ended Tuesday trading at $169.04.
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Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.