Dividend.com analyzes the search patterns of our visitors each week. By sharing these trends with our readers, we hope to provide insights into what the financial world is concerned about and how to position your portfolio.
Canada-U.S. trade relations took a turn for the worse this week after President Donald Trump announced hefty import duties on Canadian softwood lumber. The ensuing spat threatened to put a stake through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has government bilateral trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico since the early 1990s.
The announcement came as the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favor of Mexico over a long-standing tuna trade dispute with Washington. The ruling will allow Mexico to impose sanctions worth hundreds of millions of dollars on the U.S.
On the earnings front, the largest manager of private equity and real estate assets had a big week after reporting first-quarter results that far exceeded analysts’ forecasts.
Compare this week’s report with our April 14 edition, which looked at the impact of geopolitical tensions on the markets.
Trump Threatens to Pull Out of NAFTA Amid Lumber Dispute
Earlier this week, President Trump announced preliminary tariffs up to 24% on subsidized Canadian softwood lumber, raising fresh worries about the health of the world’s most successful bilateral trade relationship. As a result, foot traffic to lumber and wood production dividend stocks surged 592% this week to take the No. 1 spot on our list.
The new import duties reignited a long-standing trade spat between the neighbors over softwood lumber, with the Canadian government threatening litigation against Washington. The dispute quickly escalated with Trump ordering his White House aides to draft an executive order pulling the U.S. out of NAFTA. The President later reconsidered after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto both phoned him to renegotiate the trade deal instead.
Import duties on Canadian softwood could hike U.S. single-family house prices by over $1,200, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), who expressed disappointment in President Trump’s “short-sighted action.”
This isn’t the first time President Trump’s rhetoric has impacted the financial markets. For a primer on Trump’s election victory, review the following article.
Blackstone Earnings More Than Double in Q1
Blackstone Group L.P. (BX ) made headlines this week after reporting stellar first-quarter results. The company takes the second spot on our weekly list with a 349% increase in traffic.
Blackstone saw heavy traffic after posting fiscal first-quarter earnings that more than doubled after the Wall Street rally helped it secure record proceeds from the sales of various holdings.
On April 20, the company reported a 165% increase in Q1 earnings compared to Q1 of 2016. The sale of assets amid the Trump rally allowed the company to pay a quarterly dividend of 87 cents per common unit, the second-highest on record.
The asset manager’s dividend yield is 11.23%, which is nearly four times higher than the financial average. In case you are wondering about other high-yield dividend stocks, check out our full list here.
Steel Stocks Tumble on Weak Earnings, Uncertain Outlook
It has been a highly volatile couple of weeks for U.S. steel companies. After rallying in the wake of President Trump’s announcement that he will initiate an investigation into imported steel, the sector plunged this week on account of dismal corporate earnings. Steel and dividend stocks saw their exposure rise 133% as a result.
Shares of United States Steel Corp (X ), the nation’s second-largest producer, posted a record drop on Wednesday after a major earnings flop exposed a flawed business strategy and abysmal finances. The company posted quarterly adjusted earnings of $74 million, falling short of analysts’ estimates. The Pittsburgh-based firm also cut its annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) outlook to $1.1 billion from $1.3 billion amid a myriad of operational issues.
X is going ex-dividend on May 8. Find out the ex-dividend date in our Ex-Dividend tool. You can also filter the ex-dividend dates by a date range of your choice.
To explore other dividend stocks in the metal fabrication industry, click here.
United Airlines Institutes Policy Changes
United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL ), better known as United Airlines, has been under fire after a passenger-dragging video on one of its flights went viral. The airline takes the No. 4 spot on our weekly list with an 85% increase in traffic.
United Airlines has been trying to recover from a media storm after one of its passengers was forcefully dragged from his seat on an overbooked flight. The company has instituted ten policy changes that impact everything from overbooking to customer service. This includes offering up to $10,000 to customers who voluntarily give up their seats. David Dao, the man who was violently dragged from his seat earlier this month, was offered $800.
UAL is not a dividend earner. For a comprehensive list of the best dividend stocks, click here.
To explore other companies in the service sector, check out our Dividend Stock Screener, where you can sort companies based on market capitalization and dividend payout frequency.
Also check our Dividend Education Section to familiarize yourself with various concepts and trends.
The Bottom Line
Saturday marks President Trump’s 100th day in office. Market participants will use this occasion to reflect on the new administration’s early performance and to look ahead at the challenges and opportunities it faces moving forward.
For more Dividend news and analysis, subscribe to our free newsletter.