U.S. employment increased less than expected in December and if that foreshadows an economic slowdown, the long-awaited correction in equity markets will occur. On the other hand, the same government report showed a rebound in wages that may indicate sustained labor market momentum.
Rather than chasing the latest headlines, the best thing to do is to target consistent performers that have established their market dominance. In the insurance business, which tends to be insulated from the wildest market fluctuations, Aetna (AET) is about as well-established as you can get, and its recent performance has been encouraging.
In addition, the insurer, which already has millions of customers, could add a lot more, if it succeeds in merging with longtime competitor Humana. Aetna would pay $37 billion to acquire its rival.