Market Wrap-Up for Apr.18 (IBM, INTC, BLK, HAL, STX, SBUX, more)

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It was fairly quiet on the economic data side today, so investors' focus was on a wide number of earnings reports released from several major companies.

The bright spots on the earnings side today were shares of Polaris Industries ( PII ), Seagate Technology ( STX ), and Halliburton ( HAL ), following those companies' better-than-expected earnings results. On the flipside, BlackRock ( BLK ), Intel Corp ( INTC ), and IBM Corp ( IBM ) ended lower despite coming in ahead of earnings expectations. Meanwhile, Wall Street analyst upgrades helped Starbucks ( SBUX ) and Walter Energy ( WLT ) buck the overall downtrend today.

Here's a breakdown of some of the major earnings stories we've covered on the site today:

Rare "Sell" Call Issued

We removed one of our best dividend stocks from our recommended list today and told subscribers we recommend trimming the shares from their portfolio. Find out which one of the stocks we removed and why here .

Pivoting is Harder Than It Sounds

I read a recent article in the New York Times that talked about how companies of yesteryear (Polaroid, Kodak) missed out on opportunities to remain relevant in modern times. The hardest of the equation was having to let go of the revenue model mix the companies had been used to. In a sense, they remained hostage to a strategy whose window was about to close. Blockbuster is another company that had a chance to remain relevant. If they're just bought Netflix ( NFLX ) before the company really took off, management probably could have salvaged the company.

When it comes to our own career/business choices, we also need to be aware of the longevity cycle of our trade. In the last decade, we've seen numerous industries flipped all around, resulting in many jobs lost and leaving those with an outmoded set of skills on the outside looking in. For anyone who is in the midst of their greatest earnings window, it pays to take a regular check-up of how well-positioned you are for the evolving set of skills necessary in today's business environment. Failing to do so could result in some lean years ahead. Like on Wall Street, looking ahead is the only direction you should ever be concerned with.

The Art of Listening

When it comes to looking for quality companies for us to put on our Best Dividend Stocks List , we at try to really listen to what the market is telling us through the day-to-day price action in the approximately 1,600 dividend names we cover. Truly "listening" and absorbing the message of the markets can often mean the difference between building a portfolio of winning names or owning a compilation of hits and misses.

As always, you can expect our Premium service to understand this market dynamic each and every day we dig deep into the numbers. My team and I understand what an amazing privilege it is to be able to share our work with the many who have been reading and subscribing to our service from the early years to the present.

For you newer investors out there, take the time to learn as much as you can about the markets, but don't veer away from the investing opportunities that have made many savvy people wealthy for decades.

An Important Note Regarding the Best Dividend Stocks List

We want to make sure everyone understands that the stocks on our Best Dividend Stocks List are the names we currently like for new investor capital, regardless of what date the stock was first recommended on. If and when a stock is removed from the list, we will clearly state whether the stock should be sold (which is rare but occasionally will happen), or simply held in one's account until we see a better entry point or catalyst.

And here's one last thing to remember about what we do here at it's not just the names that we recommend that can help you build wealth, but also the things we try to steer you away from that are just as important. Forget about speculative or penny stocks, chasing unprofitable IPOs, and listening to the manic talking heads in the business media!

Our Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks eBook Has Arrived!

We just debuted our brand new 275-page eBook, exclusively on! In this digital-only book, we look ahead to 2012 and the main factors that could affect dividend investors. A $39.95 value, the eBook is a free download for paid Premium subscribers.

Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks contains a full economic forecast for 2012, including in-depth analysis on 65 of the biggest dividend stocks out there. It's a great way to get prepared for your investing next year! So head over to the Premium homepage now to download your copy.

A Dividend Capture Strategy for Active Investors

We now offer complete U.S. dividend data for all Premium members, so anyone that focuses on "Dividend Capture" trading strategies should have plenty of good stuff to research each day. Just check our enhanced Ex-Dividend Calendar , which is the best in the business, to search for upcoming payouts.

Speaking of dividend capture, Premium members can also access a 9-page report we published on the essential elements to any successful dividend capture strategy. Be sure to check it out here on the Premium homepage .'s Very Own National TV Commercial Has Debuted

Our first-ever television commercial! has started running on CNBC and the feedback has been wonderful. If you haven't seen the link yet, you can check out our commercial here .

Thanks for reading everybody. I'll see you tomorrow!

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: BLK , CSX , IBM , INTC , STX

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