Market Wrap-Up for Feb.18 (JWN, CF, DLR, SWK, EOG, WTW, more)

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We're saw a gradual rise for the DOW as other indices remained fairly flat, finishing what has been a generally solid week for the averages.

We added a new yield-focused name to our recommended list today, while also removing three growth names from our list as well. Be sure to check out Premium for those stories if you did not read the e-mail alerts we sent out earlier today. Elsewhere, earnings results are lifting shares of Digital Realty Trust ( DLR ), a recent addition to our recommended list. Nordstrom ( JWN ) bounced off of earlier levels and closed higher following the company's earnings report, as well as news the company was buying a private sales e-commerce company. Wall Street upgrades pushed several stocks higher, including Stanley Black & Decker ( SWK ), EOG Resources ( EOG ), and Raytheon ( RTN ). On the downside, fertilizer play CF Industries ( CF ) sold off after reporting better-than-expected results. Weight Watchers ( WTW ) also gave back just a smidgen of yesterday's huge gains.

The speculation in the venture capital space continues to rage on as we continue to hear about huge rounds of money being raised at ever-climbing market valuations. Mark Cuban just came out with some comments that echoed what I have been saying about the "game" that is going on, where eventually regular investors get burned with the usual late invitations to participate (post-IPO after the insiders have already cashed out some of their holdings in a big way). Mark Cuban likens the money-raising that is going on now to a pyramid scheme: one group of VCs puts a valuation on the table at the start, then another comes in and pushes the number higher, helping get the first VC liquid in part of their original investment, then the third level of VC money comes in and so on, all the while feeding the buzz to the mega-blogs that can't get enough of covering the manias. For my sake, I just want to give our readers a heads up as they consider getting into the hoopla of what is being pitched each day.

Super-savvy investors like Warren Buffett stay away from these areas and instead focus on companies making consistent profits. You often hear Mr. Buffett tweaking his holdings, as one recent report highlighted his latest investments (with a decent number of companies that are actually featured on our own "Recommended" list). As I have mentioned before, your portfolio is like a garden. Sometimes your stocks will tend to overgrow and you need to make some adjustments so you can have a nice mixture each and every season. Other times, you will get the occasional weed that needs to be removed. All part of growing a healthy portfolio.

Dividend investing does not require a special talent, education level, years of experience, luck, or much money either. It requires a commitment from you as an investor that you will keep putting money to work each month in the best ideas available (that would be from our Best Dividend Stocks List ). That's all investing is everybody! The material you find on our site (and some great stuff you will read in my Be a Dividend Millionaire book) will help you get to where you want to be financially.

We are heading into a 3-day weekend with the markets closed Monday in observance of President's Day. There will not be much in the way of big-company earnings out next week, but there are still plenty of key S&P 500 companies still yet to report as we get through the rest of the quarter.

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

Thanks for reading, and I'll talk to over the weekend! Anyone out in the San Diego region on Sunday can catch me on "Money Matters" with George Chamberlin on KOGO-AM at 2pm EST (11am PST). If there is a recording of the show available, I'll be sure to share it with everyone.

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: CF , DLR , EOG , JWN , RTN

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