There Is Still Time to Sell the 2023 AI Rally and Grab These 8 ‘Strong Buy’ Big Dividend Giants

The Moody’s bank downgrades were poo-pooed by many across Wall Street as “late to the party.” Truth is, the United States is swimming in debt, as are consumers now that total credit card debt is over $1 trillion. Household debt is a stunning $17 trillion, and both are all-time records. Quietly, at the end of July another bank (albeit smaller than Silicon Valley and First Republic), Heartland Tri-State Bank in Kansas, bit the dust.

The remarkable artificial intelligence rally this year has pushed the markets higher as fundamentals continue to deteriorate. With the potential for inflation to heat up again, it makes sense to take winnings now and move them to insured money markets (many yield 5% now) and, if you want to stay in the game, move to dividend-paying safe-haven stocks.

We screened our 24/7 Wall St. research database looking for defensive stocks that are Buy rated across Wall Street and come with dependable (and in many cases outsized) dividends. While the following eight stocks are Buy rated, it is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.


This maker of tobacco products offers value investors a great entry point now as it has been hit as cigarette sales have slowed. Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) is the parent company of Philip Morris USA (cigarettes), UST (smokeless), John Middleton (cigars), Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Philip Morris Capital. PMUSA enjoys a 51% share of the U.S. cigarette market, led by its top cigarette brand Marlboro.

Altria also owns over 10% of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, which some feel is worth more than $10 billion and may be a segment of the company that could be sold. Given the issues the brewer has had this year, it may indeed be a candidate to be sold.

Shareholders receive an 8.50% dividend. Stifel has a $52 target price on Altria stock, and the consensus target is $44.93. The shares closed on Wednesday at $44.09.

Energy Transfer

This top master limited partnership is a safe play for investors looking for energy exposure and income. Energy Transfer L.P. (NYSE: ET) owns and operates one of the largest and most diversified portfolios of energy assets in the United States, with a strategic footprint in all the major domestic production basins.

The company is a publicly traded limited partnership with core operations that include complimentary natural gas midstream, intrastate and interstate transportation and storage assets; crude oil, natural gas liquid (NGL) and refined product transportation and terminaling assets; NGL fractionation; and various acquisition and marketing assets.

After the purchase of Enable Partners in December of 2021, Energy Transfer owns and operates more than 114,000 miles of pipelines and related assets in all the major U.S. producing regions and markets across 41 states, further solidifying its leadership position in the midstream sector.

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