Market Wrap-Up for July 16 (C, GCI, V, MA, MJN, AXP, more)

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The markets got off to a slow start this week. We'll see plenty of earnings results in the next few days from major companies, so be prepared. A weaker-than-expected retail sales number this morning kind of set the stage for the lack of oomph out of the gates as well as the rest of the session.

Speaking of the retail sector, shares of Coach ( COH ) and Lowe's ( LOW ) were some of the weaker performers on this morning's data. Late Friday, a favorable settlement had been reached with credit card merchant plays Visa ( V ) and MasterCard ( MA ), helping both names see a bounce, along with other credit card plays American Express ( AXP ) and Capital One Financial ( COF ). Citigroup ( C ) shares ended slightly higher following the company's earnings beat . Gannett ( GCI ) also posted modest gains following their report. Lastly, cautious Wall Street analyst commentary had shares of Sotheby's ( BID ), Mead Johnson Nutrition ( MJN ), and Tim Horton's ( THI ) finishing in the red.

Opportunity Slips Through Our Fingertips Sometimes

This past weekend was very eventful, as I helped coach my 10-year-old son's baseball team in an all-star tournament. Unfortunately, our run in the tournament ended when my own little guy dropped a popup at 3rd base, allowing the winning run to cross the plate. It was a heartbreaking moment for him, myself, and the team.

We all know the scenario. It's a play he would normally make 100 times over, but in that one moment, he failed to close the glove properly and the ball squirted out. Despite the disappointment, my message to my son and the team was that they should be proud to have gotten as far as they did. Even though the outcome of the game wasn't what we'd hoped for, I told them to keep their heads up, since they did great just getting to that game.

Overall, the team played a very sloppy game. We had numerous chances to play better on offense (leaving lots of runners on base) and defense (too many mistakes on the field), so the kids all knew the loss was a team effort. Such is nearly always the case - in wins or losses.

Looking at our own professional lives, we all have stories of how if just one or two things had changed, that things might've turned out much differently. My father often recounts a big missed opportunity back in 1980. You see, my father is a barber, and the owner of the building where his shop was located offered to sell the building to him and his partner.

My dad had just bought his first home the year before, so the timing was bad to try and pull off the deal himself. He valiantly tried to recruit a partner to go in with him and unfortunately no one wanted to step up - not his business partner, not his relatives, and not any of his friends. As a result, my father missed the big opportunity to buy the building. I can only imagine the cash flow the property would have thrown off all those years. The building was comprised of 6 retail stores and 12 apartments - the $300K asking price in 1980 wasn't all that bad, and the landlord gave my dad his partner in the barbershop the first crack at the deal before it was listed and snapped up quickly. For years after, my dad would look at other properties, but nothing ever matched up with that one particular opportunity, so he never pulled the trigger.

Opportunities will always slip through our fingers in life, but that doesn't mean we should ever stop pursuing our goals. Focus solely on making the best financial/investment decisions possible to set yourself up for the years ahead. Just as my son's baseball team will soon get back on the field practicing, we as investors should never quit the game just because we made a costly error. Sometimes the bounce just doesn't go your way. For anyone out there who's come close, but not quite been able to get over the hump, pick your head up and keep moving ahead. You never know what next great opportunity could be just around the corner.

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I hope everyone had a chance to check out our Dividend.com Premium members-only weekend articles , including new features that highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that was, such as analyst upgrades/downgrades and earnings/story stocks. These articles are a great way to catch up on the week that was in the markets. We also have a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs performed on the week.

Thanks for reading everybody. 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: AXP , BID , C , COF , COH

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