It's been a long time since the DJIA reflected just America's smokestack economy. But today's economic rebound is being led so far by manufacturers. And if you plot those Dow components as a group, you'll see they're leading the larger pack by far.
Wall Street's consensus sees the S&P 500 tacking on an 11% gain over the next 12 months -- with lots of ups and downs along the way. That has us inclined to play defense, with an eye toward bargain stocks paying generous, sustainable dividends. Here are our top 11 picks for 2011.
The Dow surged nearly 200 points, while inflation fears propelled gold to another record close. The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 53.2 last month from 51.5 in August. Economists had expected the measure to rise to 52.
The first peak week of reports was just what the market ordered, thanks to some beat-and-raise results from Dow blue chips. This week has more big names on tap. And again, jittery investors will be looking closely, especially for revenue growth. [With video]