Market Wrap-Up for Feb.10 (NYX, EXPE, COP, CHK, DVN, DE,more)

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The markets pushed down so today as the usual Greece worries gave investors pause. Will the agreed-upon austerity measures be accepted by Greek citizens, and will they be ultimately successful? Only time will tell. Well it was inevitable, the S&P and Nasdaq indices had their first down week of 2012, but it was just by a little.

Only a small number of key stocks made any major headline moves today. Earnings results produced a mixed bag for companies like Expedia ( EXPE ), which traded lower on its latest numbers . On the flipside, NYSE Euronext ( NYX ) gained nicely on the company's results .

ConocoPhillips ( COP ) was higher on a positive Wall Street analyst upgrade . A negative call had natural gas plays like Chesapeake Energy ( CHK ) and Devon Energy ( DVN ) ending the day lower.

Young Adults Seeing Lowest Job Levels Ever

A report just released by the Pew Research Center finds the portion of young adults in the U.S. with jobs has hit its lowest level since the government started keeping track. At the end of 2011, only 54% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 were employed. The report cites growing college attendance and effects from the recession for the recent trend.

I know many of our readers have children or grandchildren that fall into the age range described above. We all need to be aware that employment opportunities will be harder to come by in coming years. It's important that we educate our young people of this trend, and help get them prepared - both mentally and educationally - for the years ahead. Among the imperative items to discuss include choosing a college major with good job prospects, or instead looking for a skill or trade that will remain prosperous in the years ahead.

The Reason, and the Real Reason

It's sometimes helpful to look at the reasons why we seek to improve our performance in a particular area. Often times, the real reasons aren't as apparent as we may think.

For example, I need to start investing, because…

Reason: Otherwise I won't have anything for retirement.
Real Reason: I blew most of my money on material items, and may have to work for the rest of my life in a job I can't stand.

Here's another one, I need to tone down by investing strategy, because…

Reason: A more conservative approach is a better fit.
Real Reason: I got creamed trying to trade the markets.

I'm sure plenty of investors out there are familiar with these scenarios. Remember, it's never too late to get back on the right track with your investing, and there's no reason to wait.

Take a close look at your own "inner circle" - the people you spend the most time with. The lifestyle those close to you engage in will tend to be your biggest influence. Hang with the free-spenders and guess what? Soon enough you'll be mimicking their ways. To further add to the lesson, here is a quote from author Max Lucado. He once quipped that "A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd."

As hard it is to break away from situations we've been involved in in the past, always remember that time is of the essence when it comes to righting the ship.

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A Look to Next Week and a Weekend Preview

Looking ahead to next week, earnings will remain a big factor with some of next week's big names reporting results include Metlife ( MET ), Deere & Co. ( DE ), J.M. Smucker Co. ( SJM ), Weight Watchers ( WTW ), and more.

Be sure to catch up with our latest watchlist updates this weekend on Dividend.com Premium , including reports on earnings/story stocks, analyst upgrades/downgrades, dividend ETFs, and much more. And as always, you can view our current recommendations on our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks List .

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you this weekend! P.S. Please pass this e-mail on to someone you think can use some financial motivation as well as being kept in the financial news loop that could affect them.

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.

Created by Dividend.com


This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: CHK , COP , DE , DVN , EXPE

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