Market Wrap-Up for Jan.26 (CL, TWC, CAT, SHW, T, ADP, more)

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After yesterday's Fed announcement that interest rates will remain historically low for another couple of years (at a minimum), commodity prices instantly shot higher. The trend continued into today as gold prices ( GLD ) and other commodities raked up further gains, but this time, with equity prices falling by the close.

The Fed is clearly intent on trying to reflate the economy with its massive dollar printing strategy. The impact on savers who haven't put their money to work in the stock market has been catastrophic, however. A quick check on reveals that a one-year CD now yields 0.67%. That's just unbelievably low.

Meanwhile, the real estate market remains shrouded in mystery. Some experts see the market as "bottoming," pointing to positive signs in cities like New York, Boston, and San Francisco. Whether the markets have recovered at all in suburban areas (i.e. where most Americans live) remains to be seen.

It's obvious that just like the stock market, the real estate market has a narrow window of winners, or areas that see any meaningful price increases. If the Fed expects the tide to lift all boats, it may be in for a disappointment. The actual result could be simply more of the same, with real estate sitting in the doldrums, while savers continue to be punished with low interest rates.

Many retired folks will need to dip into their principal in this environment, which is never a good sign. That's why it's so important for investors of every age to generate income from a strong basket of dividend stocks. We are doing our best to find the names that can work at the current time, and we hope the market can ease up a bit with the dividend plays that have gotten overbought. Hopefully we'll see some better entry points in the near future. Chasing yield is not a game we recommend, so being selective and patient is key. We did find a new name we liked this morning, so be sure to check out the link below for more on that upgrade.

Today was another big day for earnings results. Share price winners included Zimmer Holdings ( ZMH ), Caterpillar ( CAT ) ( read the report here ), Colgate-Palmolive ( CL ) ( report here ), Mead Johnson Nutrition ( MJN ) ( report here ), Sherwin Williams ( SHW ), and Time Warner Cable ( TWC ). On the flip side, we saw down moves following earnings results from Eaton Corp ( ETN ), Automatic Data Processing ( ADP ), AT&T ( T ) ( report here ) and Peabody Energy ( BTU ).

New Dividend Stock Recommended Today!

We just upgraded a new dividend stock this morning onto our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks List . Be sure to check out our post detailing the upgrade if you haven't already.

How Will Our Place in History Be Defined?

We recently saw the passing of legendary Penn State college football coach Joe Paterno. Anyone who has been watching the news surrounding Penn State and the heinous scandal there knows Joe Paterno was dismissed from his post a few months ago. That move followed a growing chorus of individuals who felt the 85-year old coach didn't take the proper steps to address the child molestation accusations against his former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky.

Whether you are coaching a sports team, running a company, or have any other position of great responsibility, you can never lose sight of the goings on all around you. You have to put the proper procedures in place to make sure you don't ever let decades of hard work get tainted by the imbroglio of any person or persons in your organization.

Mr. Paterno is not the first and will not be the last legend whose legacy is tainted by scandal. It's not just older folks who are at risk, either. Just look at all the recent athletes whose career achievements have been undermined by suspicions of performance-enhancing drugs. The pursuit of greatness can sometimes push people into situations they no longer can control. Short-term accolades are put ahead of the possibility of long-term harm.

There's nothing wrong with striving for success. In fact, I urge you to aim high and work hard to achieve your goals. Just ask yourself from time to time, what price are you willing to pay for success? Will you assume much greater risk in order to try and "get ahead" more quickly? Would you jeopardize your legacy or reputation by taking a short cut to the top? I certainly hope we all keep these questions in mind as we continue down our road to success.

New MLP Report Just Released!

In The Essentials of Investing in MLPs , we outline the do's and don'ts of investing in high-yield Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs). Our exclusive new MLP report outlines everything you need to know about these popular high-yield investments, including:

- Understanding their unique company structure
- What you absolutely need to know about their special tax treatment
- Why MLPs may not be suitable for retirement accounts
- How to find the best high-yield partnerships
- …and much more!

Head to the Premium page to download this brand new report today!

25 Years of Dividend-Increasing Stocks

We recently updated our list of dividend stocks that have been paying out dividends for 25 years or more. Be sure to check out the latest list of names here .

Dividends Really Matter

Financial blog recently took a look at the difference dividend payouts made in the overall return investors saw throughout the prior decades. Here are some of the highlights:

- The Nasdaq is down 28% since the end of 1999. Even the "blue chip" S&P 500 stocks are down 15% during that time frame…until you add back those "boring" dividends. With dividends included, the S&P 500′s 15% loss flips to a 6% gain.

- Without dividends, the S&P 500 index would have produced a loss for the 25 long years from August 1929 to August 1954. Then again, without dividends, the S&P 500 produced a 5% loss during the 13 years from September 1961 to September 1974. But with dividends included, the S&P's loss became a 46% gain.

- Over the course of the last half-century, dividends have contributed more than half of the stock market's total return - 56%, to be exact.

Of course, you can't discuss the potency of dividend investing without making mention of how awesome compound returns are. I can't stress enough the power of compound interest: you take a small amount of money and turn it into a large amount over time. Finding the right companies at the right price points which not only grow earnings, but also grow their dividend payouts as well!

New Watchlist Article Out Today

Be sure to check out our weekly Top 50 High-Yield Watchlist Names post that is out today, exclusively for Premium members. This list gives readers a good idea of what stocks we're watching behind the scenes here for potential upgrades.

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!

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: ADP , BTU , CAT , CL , ETN

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