Dividends, dividends...they are coming back, big time. Large companies raising dividends today include IBM and Coach, Humana also announced it was paying a dividend as well. So far this year, 140 companies have raised or initiated dividend. Another way to look at this is the dollar amount of the dividend increase; so far this year, the dollar increase is very close to the dollar increase for all of 2010, according to Standard and Poor's.
Strange movements: the dollar is down, but so are commodities, while commodity stocks are up. Commodity stocks are following industrials up on strong earnings reports; chemicals also had good reports.
This, despite a report out overnight by Morgan Stanley in Europe.
If you didn't see it, Morgan Stanley made a call to: 1) buy consumer staples, 2) reduce the overweight in commodity stocks. The thinking is that leading indicators are rolling over, monetary policy is turning restrictive, and inflation is rising.