We just don't have a good catalyst in these last few days to end us on an up note, ... The latest excuse is focused again on any military action in Iraq -- but certainly that's not new news and some portion of that should be discounted in this market. So, it's just these rival shots from different corporations -- today we get a little bit of better news.
Similarly, I think beverages have been a great place to be. Pepsi has been doing everything right lately and I think that's a good place to put some new money if people are unsure during these earnings seasons where to go, ... Stable business, great snack food and now the latest media is telling us they're going to really do great in water -- bottled water.
It's not good news. Both sides of it -- productivity not as strong as we hoped for and labor costs finally starting to show some of that pressure we all thought was out there. For so long, we would sort of breathe a sigh of relief, but this tells us there's a lot of wage pressure in that tight market.
Merck, too, is down on recent news, down in this case from around 85, ... You keep hearing a little bit of concern about their patent expirations over the next two years. Those are very real. But most of analysts say their drug pipeline is pretty solid and their earnings are project to be some 15-to-18 percent for the next couple of years. This is a great investment with which to balance out your high-tech holdings.
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