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Utility Stocks

Utility stocks are the ultimate investment for risk-averse investors seeking to create passive income streams via reliable dividends. Utility stocks can be an essential component of your portfolio as they will not only keep your income steady during dangerous economic times, they are usually the first to soar out of recessionary times.

The Utility Stocks archive below includes the latest commentary and analysis on the most important developments affecting the essential services sectors, including water, communications, energy, and other key infrastructure industries. Find out which utility stocks are poised to benefit from ongoing developments in the utility sector and which to avoid.

Be sure to also check out our free report, Dividend Blacklist: 6 Utility Stocks You Should Sell Today to find out if your dividend is in danger.

Power Outage

As the cost of fuel and purchased power declines, it reduces consumers’ bills dollar-for-dollar. That, in turn, makes it far easier for utilities to ask regulators to raise customer rates to pay for system improvements, such as new power plants, power lines and even to promote conservation. Earnings rise as these investments boost rate base, even as customers’ overall rates decline.

More Good News

I can’t help being upbeat when I look at the positive economic news starting to trickle out. The announcement that the US economy in the second quarter--as measured by gross domestic product--was shocking enough: An annualized decline of just 1 percent after drops averaging more than 6 percent the prior two quarters.

Good News

Good news for the economy is good news for utilities. Bad news will continue to trigger selloffs, and we’re just going to have to live with them. But contrary to prior cycles when what’s been good for the economy has been bad for utes, this recovery should bring a big recovery for our favorites.

A New Bull Market

The headline may prove premature. But sooner or later, the global bear market and economic slump that began in mid-2007 will end. In fact, we may well have seen the bottom in early March.

Renewables Run On

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens’ well-publicized postponement of a major wind power investment was hailed by some in the financial media as a sign of trouble for renewable energy. Fortunately, this time around reality on the ground is playing out quite differently.

The Politics of Carbon

HR 2454 is a mammoth, 1,200-page bill filled with many complex clauses and definitions. What follows is a rundown of some of the main issues, provisions and controversies.

Another Shade of Green

The final legislation coming out of the Senate will see nuclear included in the federal renewable energy mandates in some form, and possibly some new powers granted federal regulatory agencies to speed the resolution of permitting and other legal issues.

Waiting on the Numbers

Earnings are where the rubber meets the road in the stock market. In the near term, literally hundreds of factors send prices higher and lower. But business results are what ultimately determine investors’ profits. And there’s no better report card for performance than the operating and balance sheet numbers companies release each quarter.

Three Deals

These three deals aren’t the final word closing the book on today’s turbulence. In fact, the likelihood of more bad news is great, and there are certain to be more big selloffs for stocks, as we saw last week. However, they are clearly an indication that--as far as the markets are concerned at least--we’ve come a long way from the meltdown of last fall. And that’s still more confirmation that the smart play is to stick with positions in solid companies.

Exelon Corp

Carbon free and, above all, paid for, existing nuclear plants are among the most prized assets in the power business. And no US utility owns more of them than Exelon Corp (NYSE: EXC), with 17 reactors.

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