Market Wrap-Up for Mar.17 (FDX, GES, CNX, BTU, CSX, NSC, more)

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The markets may be feeling a bit better about the latest updates surrounding the nuclear situation in Japan, but I would be a bit cautious to jump the gun on an all-clear situation. We have been intently looking at what the revenue picture could be regarding Japan for companies that are on our Best Dividend Stocks List as well as companies we are considering adding to our current list. We did add a new name to our list this morning, so be sure to check out the post if you did not read the e-mail alert we sent out to Dividend.com Premium subscribers earlier. We also have our weekly "Top 50 Watchlist Names" post that is out today.

The market saw a nice rally from railroad plays CSX Corp ( CSX ) and Norfolk Southern ( NSC ). FedEx ( FDX ) was also higher, despite having what I would describe as mixed results from their last quarter. Retailer Guess? Inc. ( GES ) got hit hard on their weaker-than-expected outlook. Elsewhere, nuclear-related stocks are struggling to participate in this morning's rally. Coal plays rallied for a second straight day, led by Consol Energy ( CNX ) and Peabody Energy ( BTU ).

I couldn't help but notice the Japanese Yen currency absolutely flying against the U.S. dollar yesterday. There is probably a slug of "smart" money that is getting caught on the wrong side of this trade. Keep your eye on this interesting situation. Yet another market-moving event we will be looking to navigate subscribers through! This should be a ratings winner for CNBC's new bandwagon show, "Money in Motion Currency Trading". My advice for everyday investors remains the same: stay away from the currency markets. You work too hard for your money to be playing in this volatile area!

With interest rates trickling back down this week, be sure to check out what interest rates you are paying on any loans you have. Pick up the phone and see if you can get yourself a better deal. Consider asking your lender for a loan modification. Banks have been making a bit of progress helping homeowners get through the process. You might also want to switch to bi-weekly payments for your loans, paying half of your monthly payment every two weeks. This simple step can have a huge impact in reducing your overall debt. If anyone has any kids in college, keep an eye on their debt. You may want to get monthly bills mailed to the house and pay the fee, but be sure you are reimbursed by your children. You may think this is a weak way to teach them responsibility, but why risk having their credit ruined and you having to foot a higher-than-necessary bill. Just something to consider when you are getting ready to have your children start building credit for themselves.

I just read a Bloomberg report that daily discount website Groupon and its Wall Street investment bankers may be considering a $25 Billion valuation for its upcoming IPO. It's a bit nutty, but it's par for the course when it comes to Wall Street and the fast money crowd. I'm hearing Groupon may have brought in $500 million in revenue last year, but this valuation is on the moon. Facebook is apparently approaching a $75 billion valuation according to recent private market transactions. Everyone knows my take on this modern-day AOL play. It will be hot until the next great site is discovered, at which time Wall Street investment bankers will move on to the next "belle of the ball." AOL, MySpace, Facebook, who can be next? Be careful investing in the "flavor of the day". Unless you think you can be nimble enough to trade these types of names, I'd advise sticking to the strategy that continues to work for decades: dividend investing.

According to the most recent National Association of Realtors report, multi-family vacancy rates are forecast to decline from 5.8 percent in the current quarter to 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Keep your eye on this part of real estate as I have mentioned in the past that multi-family properties, if bought right, can be a great other source of income for someone looking to make the most of their real estate investments. Lower vacancy rates give landlords more of an advantage to raise rents and actually stay up on inflation risks. Ideal properties to consider if you can find any that have positive cash flow (you are making money each month, or you are at least living for free in your own unit with the tenants covering your expenses) are those with 4 units or less. They qualify for a regular 30-year mortgage. Anything that is 5 units or more require a commercial loan, which can be more costly. If you have never been a landlord before, starting out with a smaller building makes sense. I prefer anyone considering multi-family purchases to be a bit of a handy person, or have relatives that can help you with maintaining the property when things break. This type of real estate investing is the only one I really like and can make sense as part of one's portfolio, along with what I think makes great sense, and that is quality dividend-paying stocks! It is a bit easier to invest in stocks, but I just want to get anyone thinking about real estate to consider multi-family units if one is looking to diversify their investment portfolio.

It will be a busy next couple of days for me on the media side. I have the following three radio interviews I will be doing where we discuss my new "Be a Dividend Millionaire" book, as well as dividend investing in general. If you're able to tune in, I'd truly appreciate it!

WSIU-FM (NPR) "MORNING EDITION" (ST. LOUIS, MO) - This is a 10 minute taped interview on 3/17. WSIU-FM is a non-commercial, public radio station. The format of the station is news and classical music aimed at people between 35 and 55 and is affiliated with National Public Radio. WSIU-FM reaches a 50-county coverage area in southern Illinois, southwestern Indiana and southeastern Missouri. All news and public affairs programs are simulcast on three-affiliated FM stations and on Sirius Satellite Radio. The station carries 50,000 watts.

KIKK AM 650 "WINNING STRATEGIES WITH TIM CONNOLLY" (SYNDICATED) - This is a 30-minute interview on 3/18 at 2:00om Est. Hosted by prominent Economist Mike King of Princeton Research and nationally known financier Tim Connolly, they answer your questions about risk and investment and offer Low-Risk, High-Reward Strategies for Success! The best way to lower risk is a well-educated investor. The show also covers breaking news in the financial and investment markets, charts trends, offers insight and opinion. Hosted by merchant banker Tim Connolly, economist Mike King, investor Gary Cello, researcher Jan Van Der Sandee. KIKK AM is a CBS affiltiate in Houston TX. The show is syndicated worldwide via radio, cable TV audio, satellite audio and the internet and reaches about 20 million+ subscribers on Comast, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications Western Broadband and carries 1,332,904 watts.

WYZE-AM "COMMUNITY LIFESCAPES" (ATLANTA, GA) - This is a taped 10 minute interview on 3/18 to air the following Sunday (3/25). This show airs on Sun from 6 - 6:30 p.m. and is a general talk show and covers issues such as health, current events, finance and inspiration of interest to the mainly African American audience. The station serves the Atlanta, GA area and carries 5,000 watts.

Thanks again for reading! Please pass this on to anyone you think we can get inspired and educated about building wealth and using common sense to do so.

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: BTU , CNX , CSX , FDX , GES

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