Market Wrap-Up for Aug.31 (MA, FCX, MON, BRCM, BTU, NEM, more)

By Staff,

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We are seeing the standard pause today around the all-important psychological Dow 10K level.

The market is making due with what will be a light volume week, with the Labor Day holiday coming up this weekend. We traded just under 3 billion shares on the NYSE yesterday - that's 30-40% less than the average volume we've been seeing over the past month. Although, we did see a pick up today, with trading getting closer to the recent daily average.

Looking at today's action, commodity stocks tried once again taking the leadership role, with Peabody Energy ( BTU ) , Freeport McMoran ( FCX ) , and Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF ) all closing higher. Gold prices picked up the pace again, approaching new 52-week highs. Mining companies such as Newmont Mining ( NEM ) and Goldcorp ( GG ) led the charge. When sellers popped up late, shares of Mastercard ( MA ) , Monsanto ( MON ) , and Broadcom ( BRCM ) all saw buyers ringing the register.

Interesting data out yesterday from the Commerce Department talked about the savings rate falling in July. Experts are painting the drop as perhaps a build in confidence once again for the consumer. It could be more or less a seasonal factor, with vacation time and back to school shopping causing a dent. Washington likes to interpret the data as a good thing, but everyone knows that the time has come for people to take charge of their own finances. Repeating the care-free spending habits is not a good thing, although the economy needs to get the motor started somehow.

We need to look at other ways to get the economy going that involve innovation and building our own goods in a competitive way. I know it sounds simple, but there are many things that are out of balance when it comes to company profits and how much money they need to make. How hard is it for a company to manufacture a pair of jeans that sell for $150, for around $30, and not manufacture them overseas just to make an extra $15? This is just one example of trying to ideally bring more jobs back home. The problem is trying to balance out a solution without getting Washington any more involved in the corporate side than it is already (banks, auto, mortgage, etc.)

I don't have any easy answers, but I can tell you that every individual needs to take it upon themselves to plan their own retirement and not leave it up to the hands of others entirely (i.e. Social Security). Getting started by investing in quality dividend-paying stocks is a great way to build supplemental income to whatever other plans you may hopefully have in place. I just know for many today, there are little to no plans in place, so the key is to start right away.

As always, our current dividend picks can be found on our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks list. 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
Referenced Stocks: BRCM , BTU , CLF , FCX , GG , MA , MON , NEM

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