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Dow Drops 300 Points as the World Weighs on Wall Street

Dow Drops 300 Points as the World Weighs on Wall Street

The stock market took a big step back Tuesday after the long holiday weekend amid a slew of negative developments here and abroad. The International Monetary Fund on Monday trimmed its global growth forecasts for both 2019 and 2020, and China legitimized some of those fears by reporting 6.6% GDP growth for 2018 -- its slowest pace of growth since 1990. Here at home, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, -1.5%) announced better-than-expected quarterly earnings Tuesday morning but disappointed Wall Street with its 2019 forecast. Soon after, a Financial Times report that the U.S. had rejected an offer to conduct preparatory trade talks with China accelerated the selling. The result was a 1.2% decline in the Dow to 24,404, snapping a four-day win streak.

The 2019 market outlooks offered up by Wall Street's top minds are ringing true so far in the nascent year. Stocks are still broadly higher, but global growth and China trade risks are still massive factors in investor uncertainty. Indeed, a recent E-Trade survey shows that America's wealthiest investors have grown more bearish over the past couple of months, with many shifting into "preservation mode." You can mostly avoid the fray by thinking extremely long-term. The best retirement stocks to buy, for instance, are less about what's happening in 2019 and more about what might happen in 2029 or 2039. But if you want to tweak your portfolio for the near term, you have options. These 19 top-rate ETFs, for instance, offer everything from growth to protection to outright gains when the market drops. And don't forget the ol' safety standby: utility stocks. These 10 utilities with an eye toward 2019 deliver the safety and income that the sector is known for -- and several even offer an X factor that most utilities don't.

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