Market Wrap-Up for July 28 (IP, DD, LLL, MJN, WM, more)

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The market was up this morning as the bet was that fund managers would try and position in front of a budget/debt ceiling resolution as well as the typical end-of-month buying known as "window-dressing." I certainly don't know if this is the best time for aggressive investors to step on the gas despite what should be an expected debt ceiling agreement.

What moved in the markets today? Well, it was certainly mostly earnings-related, as this has been the busiest week for earnings so far this quarter. Moving up strongly were shares of Mead Johnson Nutrition ( MJN ). The baby formula play has been a solid name to own in 2011, gaining 15% on the year. The yield is lower than we would like (at 1.54%), but it is a brand that could work well on pullbacks for aggressive investors. The company is also sometimes mentioned as a takeover play.

L-3 Communications ( LLL ) was also up following its results. We've been hearing lots of chatter about this company potentially splitting itself up. The dividend yield hovers around 2%, so it is a name again that would make sense for investors looking to take on more risk, but perhaps reap the upside of stock growth. DuPont ( DD ) and International Paper ( IP ) were both higher on their earnings numbers for much of the day, but the stocks closed well of their best levels. We had these both of these names on our Best Dividend Stocks List until recently. We are keeping a close eye on the industrial/cyclical names in the event we see the economy beginning to re-charge.

Meanwhile, moving lower on earnings news were shares of Waste Management ( WM ). The company pulled in some of its prior guidance, but with a near 4% yield, we still like the shares here. Avon Products ( AVP ) continues to struggle and the company produced yet another disappointing quarter. At some point, we would imagine a change at the top may need to be considered to get things turned around. Lastly, momentum favorite Carbo Ceramics ( CRR ) was down $11 following its earnings release. The stock is still up 56% on the year, however. Anyone who is an aggressive investor should always be careful about the timing with extremely low dividend-yield high-beta plays like CRR.

Quick Note - We removed three dividend stocks from our Best Dividend Stocks List this morning. Please be sure to check out the articles here and here we published this morning detailing these downgrade if you did not read the e-mail alert we sent out earlier today.

The real estate market continues to drift with scores of recent data showing further softness in property values nationwide. A study from the National Taxpayers Union found that up to 60 percent of U.S. homes are over-assessed. The study also finds only about 5% of homeowners have gone through an appeal process (the filing process period will differ among locales - where I live the process commences in April for the previous tax year). It always makes sense for you to review your records to be sure there are no errors that could be costing you money (mistakes such as miscalculating the number of beds/baths, etc.). Another thing you want to do is check comparable homes that had recently been sold in your neighborhood, to see how prices are tracking and how that compares to your current assessment. Take the time to go through this process to at least find out if you are able to secure some savings that you can use elsewhere (hopefully putting any new-found savings to work in income-producing investments such as high quality dividend-paying stocks).

The current economic situation continues to be one filled with dangerous turns, and we will do our best to maneuver through it. When it comes to timing the market, that becomes a tough game for most, but if you are feeling like a certain time period is too uncertain, then you make the best call you feel works for you. If you'd like to watch from the sidelines for a few months and sit out the action, so be it. Investing is a marathon and each individual investor needs a moment to catch their breath. The key thing is to avoid making the "timing" aspect a regular part of your investing methodology. Getting too cute will also prevent you from benefiting from good risk/reward moments.

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. Thanks again!

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: AVP , CRR , DD , IP , LLL

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