Market Wrap-Up for Jan.28 (AMZN, F, VZ, MSFT, TROW, XOM, more)

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We are hearing about the deluge of IPOs coming out already in 2011, as well as the filings beginning to jam up the pipeline. From the valuations we are hearing on companies like Facebook and LinkedIn, I am beginning to wonder if publicly-traded corporations are thinking about taking their own companies private and then coming back to the markets at some point in the future, likely greeted with higher valuations than Wall Street is currently placing on their shares. You can bet there are many scenarios being discussed in corporate boardrooms as to how to take advantage of companies that may be undervalued.

We could also see more M&A as companies take some of the large cash hoards and put them to work. One of our current recommendations, Verizon ( VZ ), put some money to work last night, announcing a $1.4 billion acquisition. We of course would love to keep seeing companies raising dividend payouts, but we can't complain - the number of dividend increases so far this year has been to our liking. Check out last night's long payout changes list and you'll see what I mean.

The market is certainly not off to a good start today, as we inch closer to wrapping up our first month of 2011 for the markets on Monday. The headlines coming out of Egypt didn't seem to matter much a few days back, but with the indices in the red today, more attention is being paid to the happenings in the Middle East. It will be interesting to see if commodity names get a bid today, following the heavy selling we have seen in metals, oil, and elsewhere.

Before we look at today's movers, just a quick note to remind everyone that we added a new high-yield name to our recommended list today. Be sure to check out the article detailing our upgrade here if you did not receive the e-mail alert we sent out earlier. It's been a decent week as far as new recommendations go, with 7 new names in total joining the rest of our Best Dividend Stocks List .

With some of the momentum money coming out of stocks like ( AMZN ) and Ford ( F ) today, we were looking to see if buyers would look to dividend names for comfort. It wasn't the case for companies like Microsoft ( MSFT ) and T.Rowe Price ( TROW ), both seeing some selling following earnings results. Wall Street downgrades were also being felt in shares of Consol Energy ( CNX ), Diageo ( DEO ), and Lincoln National ( LNC ). Today's sell-off today is not necessarily a bad thing as I would love to see better entry points for various stocks currently on our recommended list.

Here are the final investing anecdotes from this week's series. I hope everyone gets something out of these. If you are newer to the markets, keep these points somewhere where you can go back and reference. If you are an experienced investor, it doesn't hurt to get a bit of re-schooling on points you may have overlooked through the years. I can tell you this from a personal experience. One should never stop learning or re-learning. Think of it like a superstar athlete does. Why do they practice? Because they want to keep their skills sharp! The same concept applies for investors.

Investment Strategy Anecdote #21 - "Anything can and will happen in the markets."
Who would have thought we would have seen a General Motors ( GM ) bankruptcy? The stock was a fixture in many dividend portfolios. This is why you can't just put your portfolio on auto-pilot and think it will manage itself. You should be checking out your holdings at least once a month, as well as making it a goal to put new money to work each month, at a minimum.

Investment Strategy Anecdote #22 - "The stock market does not follow conventional wisdom."
Boy, I'll say! There will be times that large caps dominate and conservative investing works best, but then there are the go-go times of internet stocks mania - when companies made no money but had insane valuations. We'll be sure to keep our subscribers on the steadier path to wealth building.

Investment Strategy Anecdote #23 - "There are continual opportunities in the market."
Without question! There are always areas that you can commit new money to, even when the market looks its most scary and volatile. Our recommendations go through numerous checks, so that our best dividend stocks list is always up-to-date for investors considering new capital to put to work.

Investment Strategy Anecdote #24 - "There is way too much information and very little good information."
I have always said this and still do. There are some great services out there, and there is nothing wrong to subscribing to multiple sources when it comes to stock research. Think of it as an investment in your continuing money education. Just stay away from the chat rooms and advice from your friends/relatives on "hot" stocks (almost always a penny stock that they hear about from an unreliable source).

Investment Strategy Anecdote #25 - "The market can be irrational longer than you can be solvent."
This refers to investors that take it upon themselves to draw lines in the sand on a particular stock or investing style. There will be times when someone decides to let his/her discipline slip away and it can lead to portfolio blow-ups. Avoid jumping on the margin bandwagon. The lure is there for all, but don't ever play with money that you don't have, or can't get back if you need to.

As we look ahead to next week, earnings season will continue to be in full bloom with reports coming from the likes of Exxon Mobil ( XOM ), Dow Chemical ( DOW ), MasterCard ( MA ), Merck ( MRK ), and plenty more. 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 again for reading everybody!

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, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AMZN , CNX , DEO , DOW , F

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