Market Wrap-Up for July 19 (IBM, KO, JNJ, GS, HOG, WFC, more)

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The changes from day-to-day remained dramatic once again today, as market players came back in to pick up some attractive stocks.

As talk of a debt ceiling resolution began to make its way around the market, we saw some big earnings winners trading nicely higher. Those included Harley Davidson ( HOG ), Wells Fargo ( WFC ), IBM Corp ( IBM ), Coca-Cola ( KO ), and Novartis ( NVS ). On the flipside, there were some laggards as well, including Goldman Sachs ( GS ), State Street ( STT ), Stanley Black & Decker ( SWK ), and Avery Dennison ( AVY ). Today market the biggest point gains for the Dow Industrials in 2011. For those who are continuing to keep the media's scary headlines from putting money to work, today's advance is another reason why you need to forget market timing and instead put a regular monthly routine in place to get your money working for you.

Anyone who uses the internet often is likely familiar with news sites like DrudgeReport.com. I just want to share with you some of the headlines I found while visiting the Drudge Report this morning:

"Modern poverty includes AC, big-screen TV, DVD player, XBox…"

"Cash-Strapped Texas District Considers Charging Students To Ride School Bus…"

"REPORT: Copper Thief in Phoenix Jolted Cutting Live 480-Volt Wire…"

Go to BusinessInsider.com this morning and you'll find stuff like this as well:

"10 Signs That The Americans Have Begun Freaking Out About The State Of The Economy"

"The Coming UK Energy Meltdown"

"INFLATION ALERT: McDonald's China Raises Prices On Everything"

Every day we have to sort through piles of nonsensical stories like these to pull out data that is actually relevant, so we can then come up with the best investment ideas. It is not simply about just reading earnings reports anymore. Hit individuals with headlines like we have above and it's no wonder people are on edge when it comes to the where we are heading economically.

I have a solution to the manic news coverage that is out there today. Simply stop being sucked into reading every gloom and doom headline. Sure there are some relevant concerns in the markets. We talked about the debt ceiling situation yesterday, and it is an event that could cause a hiccup if things get fumbled in Washington. But there are too many good things going on in Corporate America (companies raising dividend payouts, paying down debt, etc.) that we still see plenty of opportunities to putting your money to work in. One last thing, put your local news broadcast on the list above of sources of gloom and doom. Outside of local happenings (many of which focus on the negatives like fatal accidents, violent crime, etc.), local news it totally useless when it comes to covering national stories of economic relevance. The name of the game is ratings. Fear sucks in viewers and readers.

Take a glance at the earnings winners above and look at how your portfolio names are performing. Remember, none of the gloomy headlines above will do you justice when it comes to building a plentiful nest egg. As I said, we sort through tons of finance-related material each day, and most of it is noise. Don't let your wealth-building goals get distracted by the day-to-day chaos of news headlines.

Dividend investing allows an investor the opportunity to put compound interest to work for them, and it's never too early or too late to become a dividend investor. The key is once you start, you need to stay consistent and make money available to put to work for you. That's it. Don't count on the government or your employer to set you up for a remarkable retirement. Take control, do your own research, and create one for yourself. It's great to hear from subscribers that have said they are seeing superb results, and for the first time feel like they have an actual game plan for building and maintaining their wealth. The best thing we can do as individual investors is look for opportunities where we receive great income (dividends) from the companies who can best weather the economic storms ahead. You can count on Dividend.com to be your guide in that arena. As always, you can find all of our current recommendations on our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks List .

Our main focus is on quality dividend names with attractive yields, and this should be the focus for all those that are hoping to build income for the long-term. We will continue to parse through our data to make sure only the names we like best remain on our recommended list. Remember, if we downgrade stocks from the list, it is not a sell call! Only in very rare instances will we advocate liquidating positions in a formerly recommended name. We just want to have the best names from a risk/reward standpoint on our recommended list for new money at all times. Investors should, however, utilize their own sell strategy in the event a company you own drops 25% from its 52-week high and there are company-specific problems that could cause additional significant underperformance for that particular stock.

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you tomorrow! P.S. Please pass this e-mail on to someone you think can use some financial motivation as well as being kept in the financial news loop that could affect them.

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: AVY , GS , IBM , KO , STT

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