Market Wrap-Up for July 8 (ANF, TJX, GPS, HRB, POT, PM, AGU, more)

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The first Thursday of the month is all about checking out how retail sales came in the month before.

Today's winners from the space included Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF ) and J.C. Penney ( JCP ) . Both of those companies were trading right near 52-week lows and were benficiaries of decent bounces. On the flipside, TJX Companies ( TJX ) , Gap Inc. ( GPS ) , and Ross Stores ( ROST ) were some of the retailers seeing a negative reaction from earnings. H&R Block ( HRB ) traded lower on news the company's CEO has resigned. The stock has been a complete laggard and the company needs to bring in a team that can revive the brand. Not a name we are interested in at this point.

Fertilizer plays were the main movers in the commodity space today. Potash Corp ( POT ) and Agrium ( AGU ) led the charge. Tobacco names were higher with Lorillard ( LO ) and Phillip Morris International ( PM ) in the green. It has been a decent week so far for the markets considering the Dow has gained over 300 points, but we are still not happy about the volume indicators on the up days, still nowhere near the numbers we see when we do get selling. Distribution is still a concern and one thing we are still focused on. Volume on the NYSE was 4.54 Billion shares today. Last week during a selloff day, the volume came in over 6 Billion shares. Clearly we need to keep a close eye on this trend.

On a side note, I just want to point out the circus surrounding one particular stock this week, Madison Square Garden Inc. ( MSG ). Business television is making a big fuss on what is essentially a gambling play on whether NBA star Lebron James signs with the New York Knicks (which are owned by MSG) or not. This is yet another example of investors being shown the wrong approach to building their wealth or retirement savings. It's nothing but a headline-grabbing ratings story that is being turned into a "russian roulette" approach to investing. Ratings first, investors last, once 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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