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China Worries Keep Stocks in Holding Pattern

China Worries Keep Stocks in Holding Pattern

Stocks put up another sluggish performance on Tuesday amid a fresh wave of negativity on the U.S.-China trade front. The latest weight? President Donald Trump, in a cabinet meeting, said the two sides had "a long way to go," nicking recent hopes that weakness in Chinese economic data was going to spur President Xi Jinping to action. Second-quarter earnings weren't enough to give the market a clear direction, either. Goldman Sachs (GS, +1.9%) delivered a massive profit beat, but worries about net interest income (the difference between what a bank earns on loans and securities, and what it pays out on deposits) at JPMorgan Chase (JPM , +1.1%) and Wells Fargo (WFC, -3.0%) raised doubts within the financial sector. The Dow took a tiny step back, slipping 23 points to 27,335.

Tuesday was a gentle reminder about the black cloud that still hovers over Wall Street. The Federal Reserve may or may not be hinting that it's ready to bless corporate America with cheaper financing, but either way, the profits of numerous companies still hang in the balance as long as hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports are in play. So if you haven't China-proofed your portfolio yet, there's still time. These seven tech stocks are a good place to start, and you can diversify even further via these seven funds. But those focused on buy-and-hold investing know that this too shall pass. The key is having sturdy investments that can withstand pressures like this for decades. One place to start? These 11 elite stocks within the ranks of the Dividend Aristocrats that have been growing their dividends without interruption for more than half a century.

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