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The Wall Street Journal today (2/19) noted that the Wall Street divestiture cycle is in full swing, spurred on by activist shareholders (“New Push to Throw Assets Overboard”).

Companies ranging from chemical giants to restaurant chains have come under fire from shareholders wanting to break them apart, arguing that businesses perform better when they aren't part of a sprawling conglomerate.

But activism is only part of the story. More fundamentally is the push from Wall Street.

Personal disclosure: Portfolio holdings include Caterpillar, Chevron and General Electr
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ic, given as examples below.

The Wall Street acquisition-divestiture cycle's basis and results
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Bank of China is a reliable dividend-payer, kicking out a payment every year in late May or early June. In May 2013, the payout was $0.59, which is good for a yield of 5.6%.
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The Federal Reserve is playing something of a game of chicken with the market, judging from the minutes of the central bank’s April monetary policy meeting released Wednesday.
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Handset maker accentuates its emerging-market strength with three new, cheap phones.
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A closer look at the rising default rate for corporate debt reveals signs of economic recovery.
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Top organizer of the U.N. Climate Conference has her eye on this weekend's G20 meeting.
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First American Funds' equity chief sees rally lasting for the next few quarters, but policy changes will produce a headwind later in 2010.
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New accounting rules will force big banks to own up to their hidden obligations.
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