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Clorox's Earnings Looking Squeaky Clean


And dividend is seeing its thirty-second annual increase.

One to watch: Clorox (CLX) may not be an obvious name to get the pulses racing on a Monday morning, but if the market's recent dizzying rally has you clamoring for caution, it commands attention. The consumer-products company just beat the Street with fourth-quarter per-share earnings of $1.20, a performance that left its CEO "extremely pleased." From bleach to Brita, charcoal to cat litter, its household products are household names.

The dividend due next week was just boosted 9%, its thirty-second annual increase, and the stock has outperformed the S&P 500 for the past 5 years. Private-label competition, commodity costs, and currency are perennial areas of potential concern, but for now, the maker of Hidden Valley salad dressing continues to reveal hidden talents.

What just happened: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 8.6% last week in a continuation of the rally which has it up 40% since March. Caterpillar (CAT) was in the catbird seat, claiming the indexes best performance in July. Meanwhile it was dial "M" for mediocrity with Microsoft (MSFT) and McDonald's (MCD) the sole Dow components to decline on the month; seems free mocha Mondays are ending just in time for Mickey D's. The S&P 500 rose for a fifth successive month and the small cap Russell 2000 posted its best July ever. And a day after the much-ballyhooed White House beer summit brewer SABMiller reported the unimaginable, revealing core lager consumption declined 9% in Russia.

What's happening: Oil is up over $70 and the dollar is at a low for the year. Asian equities excluding Japan ended higher and Europe is flashing green, bolstered by banks and basic resources. Here at home, futures are indicating an august introduction to August. Henry Ford was famous for saying "history is bunk" but it appears past is prelude for his company -- after an 8.25% gain in the shares on Friday, the Ford (F) is today expected to announce its first year-on-year sales increase since November 2007 on "cash for clunkers." But before breaking out the bubbly, be aware that "Dr. Doom" Nouriel Roubini told CNBC today that he expects economies to double-dip -- an unappetizing prospect.

What will happen: In economics, the July ISM is out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, along with June construction spending. And we'll be learning about earnings from Anadarko (APC), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), First Energy, Humana (HUM), Loews (L), Marathon Oil (MRO), MGM Mirage (MGM), Molson Coors (TAP), Panasonic (PC), Pulte Homes (PHM) and Tyson Foods (TSN).

Happenstance: Since I started on an unsexy subject, I'll end with news that the government aims to curtail LUST.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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