Market Wrap-Up for Feb.21 (WMT, HD, GPC, CBRL, M, GLD, more)

By Staff,

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As we begin a new holiday-shortened trading week, news of a $170 billion bailout approval for Greece had the markets seeing gains early on (as well as eclipsing the 13K mark at one point on the Dow), but the averages ended the day mixed.

Gold prices ( GLD ) jumped, predictably, as investors sought a place to park their money while global printing presses run at full speed. The latest rumblings in the middle east had oil prices popping to nine-month highs.

As for individual stocks, major earnings reports were out this morning with solid price gains for the likes of Cracker Barrel ( CBRL ) ( more here ), and Kraft Foods ( read more ). Macy's ( M ) ( report here ) and Home Depot ( HD ) ( report here )gave up much of their early gains however. On the flipside, investors sold shares following results from Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT ) ( report here ), Genuine Parts ( GPC ) ( read more ), and Medtronic ( MDT ).

Barrons' Annual Survey: Buy Dividend Stocks!

This past weekend's Barron's magazine has its annual listing of the top 1,000 financial advisors. Their single biggest recommendation? Buy dividend stocks!

The key, of course, is finding the best current opportunities in the dividend space. Some great stocks have run up substantially in the past six months to a year, so may not be at the best levels to buy right now. We rate over 1,600 dividend-paying stocks, and just around 1.4% of them appear on our Best Dividend Stocks List .

We certainly love the assessment that dividend stocks are a top choice for financial advisors. Just remember, though, that not all dividend stocks are created equal.

Finding the Open Player

Special athletes have the ability to see the whole field. The recent "Linsanity" surrounding Knick point guard Jeremy Lin is a great example of happens when fans get to witness a player make everyone around them better.

Becoming a great investor requires one to see a wider picture than most everyone else. It isn't just about picking the best dividend stocks, but also evaluating how economic shifts across the globe can affect one's financial holdings (think of real estate, career, and industry changes).

That's why I like to go beyond the world of dividend investing sometimes in this daily newsletter. I am a firm believer that the more aware you are of major economic shifts, the better positioned you will be to navigate whatever storms come your way. The better we understand these factors, the better we not only make it for ourselves, but also for others around us. Great athletes that find the open player are able to do so because they're well-prepared for those situations. As investors, let's mimic that same ability by continuing to understand the bigger financial picture affecting us all over time - and sharing our own knowledge with those we care about.

Income, Income, Income

At, we maintain our focus on the best income-producing investments the markets have to offer during time of heightened volatility. We want to make sure we have only the most pullback-resistant names on our Best Dividend Stocks List . Also, if we see the market putting in what looks like a decent bottom, we will be prepared to scale up the list of stocks we like. Stay tuned and be sure to look for Premium member alerts along the way. Don't count on the government or your employer to set you up for a remarkable retirement. Take control, do your own research, and achieve your goals yourself!

Go Beyond This Newsletter

We know many of you enjoy reading the daily newsletter, but remember that with our Premium service, the newsletter is just one small component of what we offer. Here are the "Big Three" benefits of our Premium service:

- The Best Dividend Stocks List is used by tens of thousands of investors to help build their own portfolios.

- Creating your own Watchlist allows you to track the performance, news, and upcoming dividend payouts of the particular stocks you care about.

- Finally, we offer the most complete and easy-to-use dividend data on the web. Many subscribers use this data as part of a "Dividend Capture" trading strategy, but long-term investors can use it to keep track of impending payouts. Just visit our Ex-Dividend Calendar for a complete outlook on which companies will be paying out soon.

We don't ask for a credit card to use our free trial, and we don't bill you when your trial ends. No obligation whatsoever! So keep enjoying the newsletter, but please give Premium a shot if you haven't already subscribed!

I hope everyone had a chance to check out our Premium members-only weekend articles, including new features that highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that was, such as analyst upgrades/downgrades and earnings/story stocks. These articles are a great way to catch up on the week that was in the markets. We also have a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs performed on the week.

Thanks for reading everybody. 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing Stocks
Referenced Stocks: CBRL , GPC , HD , KFT , M

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