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Refining May Be Best Energy Play Now: 3 Dividend Stocks to Buy

Despite the fact that OPEC compliance is down to its lowest levels since the production cuts were announced last November, the low prices for gasoline, especially in the busy summer driving months, is helping to push demand higher. In fact, the International Energy Agency said that global oil demand growth saw dramatic acceleration in the second quarter and revised 2017 growth forecasts up 100,000 barrels per day to 1.4 million. So it makes sense to stay in the energy game, but what is the safest route to go?

With cheap gasoline comes higher demand, and higher demand is just the ticket for the top refining stocks. With shale producers continuing to keep production at high levels, and OPEC members frustrated with quotas, there is a good chance that oil stays range bound between $40 and $50 for the next couple of years, barring an all-out Middle East war.

We screened the Merrill Lynch research database and found three top companies that are rated Buy and pay solid dividends. They all make sense for growth and income accounts looking for energy exposure, but wary of crude price swings. All three have solid upside to the Merrill Lynch price targets as well.

Marathon Petroleum

This top refiner has been on a nice roll, but it still trades well below highs posted in late 2015. Marathon...


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