Market Wrap-Up for Mar.21 (T, VZ, S, QCOM, TIF, TGT, SCHW, more)

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How volatile can we get? Last week we were seeing cracks forming in numerous spots, and then 3 trading days later, investors are frantically trying to buy into this fast-moving train.

We are happy about the rebound, but we are aware of the fact we could still see headwinds in the short-term. We spent the weekend examining different stocks currently on our Best Dividend Stocks List to see if they should remain as recommended for new capital. The watchlists remain full, but there have been some breaks in areas that may not work well despite the rebound. We are carefully considering new names to add. When it comes to "timing" the market, the main focus we have is what names should be worthy of investors' hard-earned capital moving forward.

The AT&T ( T ) deal for T-Mobile is a big one, but it could have an impact on the company's dividend strategy. We are weighing this factor closely as it is a name we have been recommending. We saw shares of main competitor Verizon ( VZ ) rally. On the flipside, Sprint ( S ) shares took a haircut as they appear the odd man out in the wireless telco battle. I was following some of the initial sentiment on various stock platforms yesterday. There seemed to be a consensus this was going to spike shares of Sprint this morning, but that is certainly not the case. This is what makes trading for a living so hard. Jumping the gun on news headlines is not a recipe for consistent results. Sprint is a good example of why I tend to shy away from cheap stocks (price). They are usually cheap for a reason! In other deal news, shares of Charles Schwab ( SCHW ) closed basically unchanged, following news the company will be acquiring competitor OptionsXpress ( OXPS ). OXPS finished up nearly 17% or $2.57.

Elsewhere, look at the volatility in Tiffany ( TIF ) shares this past week. The stock was getting hammered last week on the company's Japan exposure, but investors tabled any concerns, pushing shares up to close 5% higher. Interesting enough, the guidance was not as bullish as the reaction to the stock would actually have you believe. Wall Street upgrades worked out well for shares of Qualcomm ( QCOM ) and Target ( TGT ). One group that didn't participate as much as we would have thought were the financials following Friday's dividend payout increase extravaganza. We are still lukewarm when it comes to the financial sector (we like some of the Canadian banking plays though).

I wanted to chime in a bit further about my comments in yesterday's newsletter regarding the bottom-callers in Japan. This morning we are seeing headlines that Warren Buffett sees buying opportunities in Japan. When you read what he actually said, he mentioned that *if* he owned shares, it would be a bit late to start selling now. Until he puts his money where the news headlines are, it is nothing but noise. Japan will eventually bounce back, but we are talking about a market that has been dormant since the late 80′s, has poor demographics for near-term growth, and has been battling deflation for what seems like forever. Show me the foundation for a bottom that gets put in place and then I will certainly feel better about the "Buy Japan" call. I sense the "Buy Japan" bottom-calling is more of a trading idea if you really ask me. Unless you are nimble and like to get in and out of the markets, this call still needs to take shape for it to be a solid long-term investing idea. The obsession to be the first to call a bottom continues to be a ratings story for business media, but nothing more than a distraction for what investors should instead be keying on.

I often hear from investors that ask me about how they can become more successful with the markets. Having been a full-time trader for many years, I can tell you that a huge key is to examine what happens when losses happen. Many times someone enters a position without doing enough research (day-traders usually jump on the last headlines crossing the wires, so the time to determine if a trade makes sense or not can sometimes only be seconds). For investors that are not relying on day-to-day price action, the time for research is a huge advantage for greater and more reliable success. This said, there are mistakes that will be made. It is the lessons we learn from the losses that will make someone a sharper investor. Investors tend to make the same mistakes more often than you think. Human nature tends to play a role and is why I included numerous investing rules in my upcoming "Be a Dividend Millionaire" book. "Fighting the Tape" is one of those rules that one must pay close attention to. The "smart money" will occasionally blow up by digging in with positions that they feel the market has wrong. The analysis could eventually be right, but the timing and pain of a stock moving against you in your portfolio can cause quite a bit of damage. This is just one example, but there are some great ones in the book.

My next radio appearance will be tomorrow - WNCU-FM (NPR) "MASTERING YOUR MONEY" (SYNDICATED) - This is a 30 minute taped interview on 3/22 to air by mid-April. Mastering your Money is a 30-minute educational radio program designed to give individuals and business owner's directions to turbo-charge their ride on the Financial Freedom Highway. The show provide solutions to the ten most important questions to becoming and staying financially independent is on 6 stations in US Iowa, Virginia Beach, Mississippi, and Alabama. WNCU-FM broadcasts to the Raleigh-Durham, NC area at 90.7 FM and carries 50,000 watts.

I hope everyone has had a chance to check out our Premium members-only weekend articles, including the new features that highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that was, in regards to analyst upgrades, downgrades, as well as earnings/story stocks. We also had a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs performed on the week. Our expanded dividend data, along with new dividend names, is making its way through the site and you will certainly be noticing more changes in the days that follow.

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: OXPS , QCOM , S , SCHW , T

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