Market Wrap-Up for July 15 (BP, JPM, INTC, GWW, GS, FCX, X, more)


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We have seen the market trade up for 7 straight sessions, so a down day or two is, of course, expected. We actually almost finished higher as a late rally on news BP plc's ( BP ) cap test is working so far.

The excitement over good earnings from Intel Corp ( INTC ) and JP Morgan ( JPM ) has been somewhat subdued. It is still very early in the earnings season, but we've heard no mention of job expansion that we're hoping to see. If companies keep knocking profits out of the park, we would like to see dividend payouts increased, or new jobs being created, at a minimum. As I mentioned before, share buybacks are not high on my favorite corporate action list as spending money to buy back shares (which the media gushes about) to reduce the float sounds good, but when it is used to soak up executive stock options, do shareholders really benefit?

We have not made any changes to our recommended list in the past couple of weeks, but there are numerous possibilities we are considering. The key for investors is to stay on a nice steady course and avoid getting sidetracked on what your goals are, whether it's early retirement or paying for a child's college education. Dividend stocks are not designed to be used in a "fast money" strategy, but rather looked at in the form of a garden. We sprinke "good" seeds all around, remaining wary of any potential weeds that could start growing so they can be removed.

There was a report out earlier today from the Employee Benefit Research Institute that estimates 47% of baby boomers between the ages of 56 and 62 are likely to run shy of the cash they'll need to pay for basic expenses and uninsured health costs in retirement. Investors need to stay focused on quality income-seeking plays, and when it makes sense, take a flyer on a growth dividend play as well.

Getting back to today's tape, sellers crawled back in the commodity space, with stocks like U.S. Steel ( X ) , Massey Energy ( MEE ) and Freeport McMoran ( FCX ) all down, but off the earlier lows. Financial plays traded mixed, with Capital One ( COF ) being the laggard, but Goldman Sachs ( GS ) popping higher. As for an earnings winner, W.W. Grainger ( GWW ) shot up following the company's Q2 results.

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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