Only one of the 30 Dow industrials—Walt Disney [DIS]—trades for 15 times 2011 estimated earnings. All the rest trade for less, and eight sell for under 10 times earnings, including stocks such as Hewlett-Packard, ExxonMobil [MOB], Bank of America [BAC] and Merck [MRK]. These are quality companies and dividend payers, though the banks don't pay much anymore. Pfizer sells at 6.7 times next year's estimates. If earnings come in close to consensus estimates, the market not only is cheap but maybe as cheap as it ever gets. It's not a bad time to put your toe in the water and invest, but given the way the market has been acting, do it carefully. Don't use leverage, and make sure you have enough cash on the sidelines in case stocks go even lower.
---Archie MacAllaster, Barrons, 6/12 (subscription rqd)