Market Wrap-Up for Jan.19 (IBM, GS, STT, MOS, NTRS, POT, more)


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I just got the results from my recent blood work and my cholesterol came back at 207. It is about the same it was three years ago, but I need to dedicate a bit more time to exercise and taking care of my body as I do my finances. Without health, what good is wealth?

I was never a big fan of going to the doctor (who is?), but as I get older and have much more responsibility (family, thousands of Premium subscribers, etc.), I need to step up being proactive when it comes to health. I am probably one of the few Italians I know that doesn't eat fish - not a great thing when you are trying to bring down cholesterol levels. It's time to cut back a touch on the pasta and hit the treadmill more. Hopefully everyone out there is trying to pay attention to health and fitness as well. We all need each other on our "A" game.

We are now entering earnings season and this is where there could be some stomach-turning action in the markets. There will be some good news that gets rewarded and some good news that gets sold. It's always hard to pinpoint why the moves happen as they do sometimes, but just try and hang in there. I am always happier when earnings season is nearing the end for each quarter, so I can examine where the overreactions occurred or where the news may be a bit more gloomy than we like for names that could be on our recommended list.

As for today's action in the markets, we saw some significant selling in more of the growth plays for a change. Earnings results jolted several big-name financial plays, including State Street ( STT ), Northern Trust ( NTRS ), and Goldman Sachs ( GS ). Fertilizer play Mosaic ( MOS ) took a hit as agribusiness giant Cargill may be planning to relinquish its majority control in the company. Selling spread to other names in the sector, including CF Industries ( CF ) and Potash Corp ( POT ). One of the few bright spots that stood out was IBM Corp ( IBM ), up nicely following the tech giant's earnings results.

We'll continue to monitor the markets closely as we have been and will keep subscribers alerted to any changes we make on our recommended list.

Continuing with yesterday's theme, here are some more common money excuses people use and my response to them:

Excuse #6 - "I'll pay it off next month!"
This is where the credit card companies really get you. The minute you start falling behind is when the fees start to pile on. Pay it off quickly and learn to be consistently responsible.

Excuse #7 - "Old cars just aren't safe."
This is where having a good and trusting mechanic can pay big dividends (pun intended). Stay up on your regular oil & filter changes. State inspection regulations have become less strict so more cars are passing, but don't let this fool you into thinking you can skip car maintenance. Leasing cars is a great win for car dealers, but generally not for most consumers.

Excuse #8 - "I'll start my budget next month."
Again, procrastination is a big enemy of the investor. The "budget" word may not be too sexy, but there are great sites out there today that make the task a bit less of a drag. is one of the more popular places to check out.

Excuse #9 - "I work hard so I deserve to have it!"
Nothing wrong with that. Just work a bit harder if you want the finest things in life and make sure you are earning enough money that the spending doesn't create a big hole.

Excuse #10 - "I want my kids to have it better than I did."
When it comes to education, definitely. But other material things are just that and will not make your kids love you more. Ask most any parent and they will agree.

You can check out yesterday's daily newsletter for my responses to the first five money excuses.

Please check out if you are interested in pre-ordering my book "Be a Dividend Millionaire." The e-book is due out in mid-February and the print version will be out May 12. And 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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