Market Wrap-Up for Dec.8

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I was reading more anecdotes from Ben Bernanke's 60 Minutes appearance in which he discussed the Federal Reserve's ability to easily control inflation and change course quickly on its recent accommodative monetary policy.

We have seen the Fed raise interest rates in the past to control the stock market's ramp, and when you turn back to the early 80′s we saw the process tame runaway commodity prices. Fast-forward to now and the playbook to stymie inflation is ready when needed. The biggest question and fear this time is that countries like China could come in and corner a valuable amount of needed commodities. How do you control that scenario? That is a tough question to answer, and one I hope the Federal Reserve gives a lot of thought to. Remaining in super-power status is a bit harder when you have run-away debt and China continuing to assert its buying power because it just can. I don't mean to stray too far into politics, but all the moves that the Fed contemplates can have a varied affect on the companies we invest in, so it pays to keep a close eye on the big picture at all times.

Speaking of inflation, I am keeping a closely monitoring gold prices as we are seeing a bit of a sell-off today. Gold has backed off making new highs once again. If the yellow metal keeps struggling at these levels, the crowded trade could get a bit sloppy with traders possibly looking to ring the register. Check out more on Gold in this video .

Gold-mining plays Goldcorp ( GG ) and Newmont Mining ( NEM ) backed off this morning with gold prices getting hit. On the earnings front, Men's Wearhouse ( MW ) and H&R Block ( HRB ) saw selling following both companies' results. Fortune Brands ( FO ) closed off earlier highs on news the company will be separating into three companies. Wall Street loves the break-ups of companies and we'll likely hear about more potential candidates that could follow suit. Financials picked up steam in the afternoon, led by PNC Financial ( PNC ) and Prudential ( PRU ). We added a couple of new dividend stock plays to our "recommended" list earlier today, so be sure to check out the post if you did not read the e-mail alert we sent out earlier.

My new book, "Be a Dividend Millionaire" should be available online in February 2011, with a traditional print version to follow in May. We are working on a new site for the book, which will contain key details on what you can find inside and how it can be pre-ordered.

As always, check out our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks list for the top dividend names to put money into right now.

Thanks for reading, and 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 OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: FO , GG , HRB , MW , NEM

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