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Merrill Lynch Bullish on 3 Blue Chip Dividend Leaders for Rest of 2016

As we near the end of July, we are also nearing the end of the second-quarter earnings reporting season, and for the most part it has been solid, and the markets have responded positively, printing new all-time highs. One thing is evident, there is a distinct shift away from some of the bond proxy sectors, like consumer staples and utilities, toward sectors like industrials and consumer discretionary. This certainly makes sense, because in an improving economy, they should do better.

In new research reports, Merrill Lynch stays very positive on three top companies that have already reported earnings. While all three may have to work hard the second half of the year, they all remain quality additions to growth portfolios.


This top industrial could really jump with an economic pickup. 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) is a diversified, global manufacturer. Its businesses are technology-driven and organized under five segments: Consumer, Safety and Graphics, Electronics and Energy, Healthcare, and Industrial. Its popular brands include Scotch, Post-It, 3M and Thinsulate. The company also holds over 500 U.S. patents.

While the company adjusted the midpoint of its guidance, the analysts remain positive but note the company, like many, faces a tough global macro environment. They do think the...