According to the latest CPI (consumer-price index) report, U.S. inflation cooled down slightly from July but not enough to appease the markets.
Overall prices rose by 8.3% from the same period a year ago, slowing down from July’s 8.5% uptick and further down from June’s 40-year high showing of 9.1%. On a monthly basis, after plateauing in July, consumer prices rose by 0.1%.
As the expectation was for a rise of 8.1% over last year and a drop of 0.1% compared to last month, the markets did what they are wont to do in such a situation – they fell big time.
The latest setback is not what embattled investors had hoped for, having thought the worst of the bear market was already behind us. That said, according to Lori Calvasina, the Head of U.S. Equity Strategy at RBC, the bottom could indeed already be in but that still doesn’t mean it’s plain sailing from now on.
“In terms of stock market direction, we think it’s more likely than not that US equities saw their lows in mid June, but have expected conditions to turn choppy again in the months ahead with risk that the S&P 500 will retest its YTD low again in late 3Q,” Calvasina opined.
Given that situation, investors would do well to make defensive plays, and RBC analysts are pointing out some big dividend stocks for just that. These are div players offering yields of 8% or better, and according to TipRanks database, they both have a ‘Strong Buy’ consensus rating from the wider analyst community. Let’s take a closer look.
Blackstone Secured Lending Fund (BXSL)
The name ‘Blackstone’ is readily recognized; it is one of the largest asset management firms in the world today. Blackstone Secured Lending Fund, the first stock we’ll look at, is managed by the eponymous firm, and has operated since 2018 as a business development company with a portfolio of first lien senior secured debt in US private companies.
Getting into detail, the company’s portfolio investments are worth $10.1 billion at fair value, and are focused mainly on software and healthcare providers, which together make up 27.5% of the…