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Wall Street Calm Before the Jobs Storm

Wall Street Calm Before the Jobs Storm

Thursday was a wait-and-see day for the market after three consecutive sessions of sharp moves. The U.S.-China trade front? Mostly quiet today. Economic data? Not much to digest today -- but the potentially pivotal November jobs report looms on Friday morning. The earnings calendar? Very little from Wall Street's largest companies, though productivity software company Slack Technologies (WORK, +5.1%) enjoyed a nice boost as investors weighed a strong quarterly revenue outlook against profit guidance implying that costs could be problematic. The day's biggest market news came from Saudi Arabia, where oil giant Saudi Aramco priced its shares for next week's initial public offering, expected to be the biggest in history. Aramco is valued at $1.7 trillion and should raise $25.6 billion from the IPO. The Dow's 0.1% uptick, to 27,677, was yawn-worthy by comparison.

Many investors likely spent Thursday catching their breath after a whirlwind start to the week. Buy-and-hold retirement investors, however, probably spent it the same way they spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: patiently but confidently watching the headlines fly by. A focus on income and steady growth over the long term can help you build wealth without fretting the latest data point. High-yield dividend stocks, for instance, can deliver huge returns via substantial cash payouts over time. You can target dividend growth, too, to stay ahead of inflation -- these 10 Dividend Aristocrats look strong heading into the New Year, as do a couple dozen of their Canadian brethren that trade on U.S. exchanges. The ultimate retirement stocks, year in and year out, typically deliver both income and growth while also boasting recession-resistant businesses -- after all, no bull market is forever. Here, we outline 20 of the top stock picks for retirement-minded investors, with a considerable emphasis on generating cash.

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