Market Wrap-Up for June 28 (NKE, PM, MA, TJX, CAT, more)

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We got another day of buying as money managers squeezed in some last-minute moves, with the second quarter set to wrap up this week.

Before we look at today's market movers, just a quick note to check out the new name we added to our recommended list this morning .

As for today's highlights, Nike ( NKE ) gave investors better-than-expected results and the stock gained 10%. Wall Street analyst upgrades worked well, with Mastercard ( MA ), TJX Companies ( TJX ), and Dupont ( DD ) gaining. Elsewhere, traders pushed the higher beta specials like Wynn Resorts ( WYNN ) and Caterpillar ( CAT ) for nice gains. Tobacco names trailed following some cautious comments from Jim Cramer last night on his Mad Money show. Concerns about the new graphics on cigarette packaging have him hesitant to push the sector here. He prefers investors lean toward Phillip Morris International ( PM ), which incidentally is a name we have been recommending for a while now.

Let's take a look at several key data points released over the last couple of days I wanted to add my thoughts to.

According to the most recent American Time Use Survey, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this week, retirees spend 3.8 hours per weekday in front of the TV, which is an hour and 15 minutes more screen time each day than the population as a whole. I've often criticized long-term TV viewing because of its negative effect on one's mindset about the world in general. Everyone knows I am not a fan of spending too much time watching the business media in action. They place too much emphasis on the short-term, which is better suited for highly-sophisticated active traders, not long-term investors. Watching too much news also makes it easy to turn negative regarding your surroundings. Remember, the news media loves to sensationalize whatever it can to draw in the eyeballs.

Turning to real estate, a report out a few days ago said the nation's 10 largest mortgage lenders denied 26.8% of loan applications in 2010, an increase from 23.5% in 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing mortgage data filed with banking regulators. We have seen plenty of bottom-calling when it comes to the real estate market the last 3 years or so, but the evidence of any significant turnaround is still not there. Banks are sitting on a backlog of bad loans and the foreclosure process can take years as long as the lenders continue to "extend and pretend." Basically lenders are allowing property owners the chance to continue living in their homes while they hope property values bottom. Banks really don't want to take back homes that are underwater (owners owe more than the homes are worth). We just had data out just this morning from the S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index for the month of April showing home prices fell 3.96 percent from the same month last year.

The last data point I wanted to share is the new survey of 250 large companies by Towers Watson showing that many of them have pared back on their retiree insurance plans and others are planning to discontinue them permanently. 47% of employers polled for the Towers Watson's annual retiree benefits survey said they've already made changes to retiree insurance plan designs. These include reducing coverage and shifting more of the cost-sharing to early retirees. 42% said they're considering terminating early retiree plans. We have seen estimates of how much a 65-year-old couple will need to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs throughout retirement ranging from $197,000 (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College) to $250,000 (Fidelity Investments) to $271,000 (Employee Benefit Research Institute), and could vary significantly based on how much medication or treatment you require. The key is to get a good grip on your personal finances and make sure whatever you are spending your money on will serve a good purpose. It's not a bad thing to splurge every so often, but only if it doesn't take away a whole lot from the nest egg you are trying to build.

The state of retirement continues to evolve. Slowly but surely, the days of calling it quits at age 65 and simply collecting a pension and social security are melting away. Pensions are fewer and far between for many individuals as companies have been cutting down on many of the long-term benefits we used to see given in the past. Buying assets that produce income is the name of the game for all that want to build wealth and be able to stay one step ahead.

Dividend investors that are looking for income should not be distracted by the flavor-of-the-day headline grabbers. Instead, look for opportunities in companies that are currently on our 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: CAT , DD , NKE

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