There were plenty of storylines developing in today's tape, and
the overall theme certainly had the bears feeling a bit of
vindication in some areas.
First, a big double acquisition had shares of Freeport McMoran (
) getting hit hard (down 16%) as investors try to determine how
risky a move this will end up being for the commodity giant. We
also have news of 11,000 job cuts from Citigroup (
) as the company terms the move part of its "transformation." Citi
shares were indeed higher, but that's little joy for those looking
to the unemployment line.
The other big story today had Apple (
) getting hit hard (down 6%) amid various reports that brokers are
raising margin requirements on the shares. In an effort to reduce
speculation (which likely means there have been some margin calls
not being met), brokers want to require traders/hedge funds to have
more capital in their accounts in the event of further share price
drops. The market is certainly spooked by the news as shares of
Apple are down about $25, or -4%.
In other news, semiconductor play Altera Corp (
) ended lower following the company reducing its Q4 guidance.
Finally, shares of Travelers (
) bucked the early weakness following the company updating the
losses they will see from "Hurricane Sandy." Some analysts were
expecting the hit to be a bit harder on the insurance giant.
Window of Opportunity Shrinking for College Grads
Some recent student loan debt data could spell big trouble for
those who fail to take advantage of the higher education they paid
up for. Consider that student debt in the 30-39 year-old
demographic group now exceeds the debt of the under 30 age group.
Moreover, the under age 30 group now accounts for less than a third
of the overall student debt.
Older student loan debt certainly seems to be sticking around
much longer than it used to. Plus, career and family expectations
are changing dramatically. When someone reaches their 30′s, we
normally expect them to be five to ten years into their career.
We'd also expect the person to be settling down (marriage, family,
buying their first home, investing toward their retirement). Now we
see demographic data spelling out the opposite picture.
Good jobs are getting harder to come by. More people are staying
single well into their 30′s. The birth rate in the U.S. continues
to drop. Buying a home isn't even a distant consideration for many
(in fact a growing number are still living at home with parents
well into their 30′s). And most folks in their 30′s will probably
admit they'll likely need to work well into their 70′s.
The situation isn't great, but success and wealth are by no
means impossible to reach. I bring up these realities to help
create a sense of urgency for those who aren't following the right
path (or perhaps you have children and grandchildren who need a
kick in the behind). Procrastinating used to not hurt you so much
years back, but in today's world of limited opportunities, people
need to focus on their goals sooner rather than later. Fortunately
some will have the benefit of their parents' good financial
fortunes to help them buy time, but that line is beginning to blur
much more seriously as funds can quickly dwindle.
The environment of today requires hustle, sacrifice, and
persistence to achieve the financial freedom previous generations
were able to nail down. Avoid the mentality that the government is
waiting with check in hand. Let your ambition dictate where the
real opportunities lie. The window of opportunity is closing all
too quickly for far too many.
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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
Dividend.com: 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
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Thanks for reading everybody. I'll see you tomorrow!
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