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Day 115: Up +17.44%

The Mother's Little Helper portfolio was up today (+1.08%) for a gain of -$7.304.55. Overall gain to date: +$101,813.20 (+17.44%). According to CNN Money the S&P 500 is up +5.23% Year To Date (

Another good day, markets took on some added risk as several companies reported good earnings and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin provided some good sentiment that a tax package was coming ' soon'. Dow component American Express had the biggest impact, as their earnings and revenue beat helped the Dow increased 1%, the S&P 500 ticked up 0.9%, and the Nasdaq climbed 1%.

To me the most interesting report today came from Railway operator CSX ( CSX). CSX blew away analysts' estimates on both the top and bottom lines. CSX reported earnings of 51 cents, topping consensus estimates by 8 cents. Revenue climbed almost 10% to $2.87 billion, $110 million above estimates. CSX also showed some shareholder friendly behavior by hiking its quarterly dividend 11% to 20 cents a share; and also authorized a $1 billion share buyback. Why should we care, CSX is not in the MLH portfolio. CSX hauls a lot of coal and aggregate. On teh earnings call CSX reported larger than expected revenues from these two shipment categories. The coal is mostly export product, but the aggregate is construction related (sand, gravel, rock). If you have a big construction project in the near future you want to stockpile aggregate. I'll be doing some homework to see who the big customer was.

Today Verizon Communications reported earnings and came in just shy of consensus estimates at .95 cents a share. Verizon is down about 5 cents a share after hours. Verizon is investing for the future and right now the relative strength index and the MACD for VZ are pretty low. Verizon is also on the 2017 Dogs-of-the-Dow list which has me watching for a break out in this stock. Any pull back in VZ could be a good time to begin a new position or to add to an existing position in a well diversified portfolio. With a 4.73% dividend this is a nice stock to build income and enjoy the potential for appreciation over time.

Stay Invested,

Clay Baker

Disclosure: I am personally invested long in these stocks that appear in the MLH portfolio and may purchase or sell share withing the next 72 hours. I am also invested in other stocks that do not appear in the MLH portfolio: BA, BRK.B, CELG, CSCO, CTXS, CVX, DOW, DVAX, FB, IBM, NTES, NVDA, OMER, PFE, PG, RDHL, SCHW, THO, TWX, VEEV, VZ, XLNX, XOM

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

This article is not intended to offer investing advice, guarantee 100% accurate predictions, or to be interpreted as providing a personal recommendation.

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