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Where to Turn When Market Losses Pile Up

Where to Turn When Market Losses Pile Up

The Dow Jones suffered another hit Wednesday, slipping 0.8% to 25,080 to extend its losing streak to four sessions -- its longest slide since August. Stocks broadly suffered thanks to another decline in Apple (AAPL, -2.8%), whose shareholders have been spooked by mounting concerns of slowing iPhone and other gadget sales. (Apple briefly touched bear-market territory by virtue of declining 20% from its Oct. 3 peak.) But there were other concerns, too. Financial stocks, including Dow components JPMorgan Chase (JPM, -2.1%) and Goldman Sachs (GS, -1.3%), took another dive. And the small-cap Russell 2000 Index drew a negative chart formation that many analysts believe can portend a long-term downtrend.

A small silver lining: Stocks erased much of their losses with a late-afternoon rally. Still, the market has become extremely volatile again, and, for the moment, upward momentum is gone. That demands a defensive stance, or at least a focus on stocks that can grow in good times but also weather a storm. For instance, when growthy areas such as small caps and tech fade, investors tend to bid up value stocks such as these 10 top picks. You can also bank on the bulletproof balance sheets found in Dividend Aristocrats -- not just American dividend royalty, mind you, but Canadian and European dividend payers, too. High yields help offset price gains, too, but you still need to focus on quality. You can find robust payouts among the Dow's blue chips -- but pay close attention to what Wall Street's pros say about their prospects.

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