Market Wrap-Up for Apr.23 (WMT, K, HAS, EAT, STI, more)


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If you were waiting for the most bullish Wall Street analysts to make an appearance on business television, they tend to be a bit more "tied-up" on down days like today. With lots of negative headlines coming out of Europe, the indices were facing an uphill battle at the open. We did close off the lows of the day as some dip buyers stepped in.

Looking at some of the specific stock movers, cautious earnings guidance hurt shares of Kellogg ( K ) today, dragging down shares of General Mills ( GIS ) as well, although to a lesser degree. Hasbro ( HAS ) ended lower following its earnings miss, which isn't a surprise given competitor Mattel's ( MAT ) recent earnings report.

We saw a few earning-related names buck the market drop, including SunTrust Banks ( STI ) and Brinker International ( EAT ). Lastly, shares of retail giant Wal-Mart ( WMT ) lost nearly 5% on bribery allegations concerning its retail operations division in Mexico. As we look deeper into this sell-off for potential new stock ideas for investors to consider, we did remove a couple of dividend stocks for the short-term. You can view the full story below.

But first, here's a breakdown of all of today's big earnings-related stories we covered this morning on

Two Dividend Stocks Removed from Recommended List

We removed two dividend stocks from our "Best Dividend Stocks" list this morning. We still like both names long-term, but we are cautious in the short-term. Check out the names removed here .

There's Risk, and Then There's Big Risk

It's been a tough ride for investors sitting on the sidelines that haven't reaped the benefits of the stock market's big run-up recently. If you're one of those folks who hasn't yet pulled the trigger, I urge you to forget about thinking "all-in." Instead, think "consistently in."

Rather than taking a big sum of money and deciding to pick the perfect day to jump in, you should scale into positions nice and slowly. Could the market be a bit risky/overbought right now? Yes, but what about when we see inevitable corrections like today? Will you see the move as an opportunity, or a sign of impending doom?

The biggest risk comes when you decide to go all-in and your holdings are limited to one or two stocks. Traders sometimes do so on a daily basis. If you're trying to be a dividend investor, this strategy is not one you should consider.

Your portfolio should be diversified enough to withstand an occasional mistake, or when you let your discipline down. Make mistakes with a portfolio of too few stocks, and you could be hurt badly.

Is there risk in investing? Of course, but not as much as you might think - if you take the proper approach and don't get sucked into rapid-fire trading action. Building wealth takes time, and dividend investing is a great way any investor can stomach the ups and downs of the stock market. Stay smart and avoid big risks, scale in, and diversify your portfolio!

Financial Planners Pinpoint Common Money Gaffes

Below are the results of a recent poll conducted by the Financial Planning Association. The group asked financial planners about the most common mistakes people make with money, and respondents were allowed to give up to three answers.

  • 54% - Not creating a long-term financial plan
  • 49% - Not starting to save at an early enough age
  • 44% - Fleeing stocks when the market craters
  • 40% - Flocking to the latest top performers
  • 26% - Assuming recent events are the new normal
  • 20% - Not fully funding retirement accounts
  • 17% - Raiding retirement accounts early

Keep these common missteps handy whenever you evaluate your own financial situation.

Half of Bachelor's Degrees Holders are Jobless

The Associated Press recently had some analysis of government data looking into the job prospects for those with a Bachelor's Degree, and the outlook for these graduates looks bleak. Median wages for those with bachelor's degrees are down from 2000, and the job prospects for bachelor's degree holders fell last year to the lowest level in more than a decade. About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years.

The quality of work available is also waning. According to recent government projections, only three of the 30 occupations with the largest projected number of job openings by 2020 will require a bachelor's degree or higher. That stat illustrates that job growth is coming mainly in lower-quality positions like basic retail, fast food, and truck driving. The three positions that will require higher education degrees are teachers, college professors, and accountants.

Because of these developments, I continue to hammer home the idea that parents (and grandparents!) must be vigilant in pushing their kids to pursue a career with a bright future. Evaluate your child's strengths and weaknesses and work together with them to figure out what they should study in college and what type of career they should look for. In some cases, college may not be the best option, as some kids are more suited for a trade school instead (plumbing, electrician, heating/air conditioning, etc.).

College tuitions aren't getting cheaper, and with many adults still lacking the right foundation to save for retirement, mistakes and misguided debt (picking the wrong college or major/career) could prove disastrous. I share these pieces with everyone as many of us have children/grandchildren in this crucial age range. Every parent has a great pride in trying to send their child to the best college possible, but may overlook the fact that each child is different and may not fit in everywhere.

My oldest child is a sophomore in high school and we continue to discuss potential colleges/majors for her, but nothing specific is sticking yet. I can only imagine putting off these conversations to her senior year and then panicking to just pick something. My fingers are crossed she will start to hone in on something sooner rather than later, but the good thing is we're talking!

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.

I hope everyone had a chance to check out our Premium members-only weekend articles , including new features that highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that was, such as analyst upgrades/downgrades and earnings/story stocks. These articles are a great way to catch up on the week that was in the markets. We also have a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs performed on the week.

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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
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