Market Wrap-Up for Jan.5 (MOS, GS, QCM, FDO, MA, V, BEN, more)

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As the metals see a break of some key technical levels today, the "buy growth at any price" crowd is putting money back to work.

I read an analyst report recently about Amazon.com ( AMZN ) where the analyst had no problem recommending shares of the e-commerce giant, despite the stock trading at 60 times earnings estimates. There is no question that Amazon owns the e-commerce space when it comes to many retail goods, but 60 times earnings is expensive, no matter how you cut it. The euphoria of Facebook being valued at $50 billion by Goldman Sachs ( GS ) a couple of days ago is certainly getting investors giddy, but the valuation gods will certainly have something to say about that at some point.

Back to the metals for a second, gold prices broke below their 50-day moving average for the first time in over three months, and things could get a bit dicey for investors that have been jumping on to the gold bandwagon of late. Unfortunately for many, a huge amount of gold buyers jumped in after gold prices topped $1000 an ounce. This fact could make for some shaky hands if the selling picks up any steam. Long-term, gold still has bullish technicals, but the road up will not be without some big bumps.

Looking at today's action, we saw buyers rejoicing over the earnings out of fertilizer play Mosaic ( MOS ). That buying spread to other names in the space, including Potash ( POT ) and CF Industries ( CF ). Qualcomm ( QCOM ) got an initial round of applause from Wall Street following the company's announced acquisition offer for Atheros Communications ( ATHR ). On the flipside, Family Dollar Stores ( FDO ) was taken to the woodshed following the company's earnings miss. Elsewhere, financials continued their strong start to 2011 as credit card plays dominated the gains. Mastercard ( MA ), Visa ( V ), American Express ( AXP ), and Capital One ( COF ) all registered nice gains. Franklin Resources ( BEN ) bucked the trend and ended lower after a Wall Street analyst cited the shift out of fixed income will have a negative impact on the asset management company.

For dividend investors, patience will certainly be needed as the market progresses through this first week of the year. We have been seeing names like McDonald's ( MCD ) and Coca-Cola ( KO ) slumping on 2011 profit concerns. If anyone is looking at buying right now, remember that scaling into positions is something we prefer. There's no reason to make big bets, because chances are, you may get the opportunity to scale in to buy more at better entry levels.

I hope everyone has had a chance to check out our Dividend.com Premium members-only weekend articles, including the new features that highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that was, in regards to analyst upgrades, downgrades, as well as earnings/story stocks. We now also track weekly Dividend ETF performances of the dividend-focused plays in that space.

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 The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AMZN , ATHR , AXP , BEN , CF

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