The markets stumbled out of the gates this morning, but would
end up recovering through the afternoon hours in relatively light
trading volume. Holiday weeks like these usually mean
less-than-average volumes as many fund managers and individual
investors alike are on vacation.
A benchmark survey released today indicated that manufacturing
in the U.S. dropped to its lowest level since 2009. The ISM gauge
for June came in at 49.7%, much lower than the 52.3% analysts had
expected and a large drop from the 53.5% level in May. A level
below 50% indicates a contraction in manufacturing, while above 50%
In stock-specific news, Bristol-Myers (
announced a big acquisition of diabetes drug maker
for $5.3 billion in cash. BMY shares posted small gains today on
that news. Meanwhile, the chairman of British banking giant
) has stepped down amid an interest rate-fixing scandal. Barclays
shares actually rallied significantly on the heels of that story,
closing up 4.5%. Finally, food products maker Archer Daniels
caught an analyst downgrade this morning
, on fears that a drought in the U.S. could eat into the company's
margins. ADM relies heavily on corn crops to produce a livestock
feed, corn syrup, and many other products. Those shares closed down
about 1.6% on those concerns.
) prices fell around 1.5% today following Friday's big +9% gain,
while Gold (
) fell slightly, closing just under the $1,600/oz level.
Money is Meant to be Spent, Too
As much as I talk about saving and building wealth for the long
term, the one thing we don't want to get obsessed with is becoming
a collector of money. A couple of years ago, my son was looking to
buy a new game to play. He had been saving up some birthday money
(that we budget for fun stuff), and was ready to go to the store to
purchase the item.
An interesting thing happened, though, when it came time to use
his money for the purchase. He looked at me and wondered if he
could instead keep his money stored away. Instead of using his own
money, he was hoping for the "Bank of Dad" to step up and handle
the costs. Not that I wouldn't want to offer my generosity, but I
wanted him to understand that simply hoarding money is not the
goal. Investing is a much better option than just letting it sit in
the piggy bank. And when you're financially secure, there's nothing
wrong with spending money on things you like.
It's all too easy to develop a "miser" mindset when it comes to
not spending your own money. It's perfectly fine to go out and
spend. In fact, spending is a normal part of the budgeting process.
If you avoid the spending process altogether, you won't learn very
much. And being obsessed with money is not healthy. My son
eventually decided to spend his money on that new game he wanted.
He learned that as long as he wanted something bad enough, it was
OK to part with his cash. I hope that his experience that day will
add to his financial education, as he'll no doubt need to weigh his
wants versus his savings throughout his life.
Now this isn't an invitation to "shop till you drop," but rather
to let readers know that money needs to have a use. Preferably, you
should invest your funds, but we all need to enjoy life as well.
Just make sure your spending comes in moderation, and you can
assure yourself of a healthy balance in life.
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I hope everyone had a chance to check out our
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