Market Wrap-Up for Mar.30 (WLP, DIS, MA, V, WYN, more)

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The markets traded mixed for the most part today, as we closed out a very solid first quarter. While some traders booked profits on some of the higher-beta names, the dividend stocks we like continue to hold up well. We are carefully monitoring our Best Dividend Stocks List to make sure we feel the current price levels remain attractive for new capital. Additionally, we are looking for new potential upgrades that could deserve a look.

Checking out today's tape, health care plays Aetna ( AET ) and Wellpoint ( WLP ) continued to move higher on what has been a strong week for the sector in general. Wall Street analyst upgrades had stocks like Wyndham Worldwide ( WYN ) and Disney ( DIS ) gaining ground. On the flipside, we had some selling in stocks like Valero Energy ( VLO ) and Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF ). Credit card processors Mastercard ( MA ) and Visa ( V ) also fell as news spread of a possible security breach for what could be up to 10 million card holders.

What Matters the Most

When my kids were little, they'd see me reading many different financial publications (magazines, newspapers), and ask me "Daddy why do you read all those?" My usual answer was that each publication has different writers, and I like to know what more than one person thinks.

In today's investing world, we have countless resources at our fingertips. Even if we wanted to read everything we could get our eyeballs on, we'd only scratch the surface of the huge amount of information out there. So, what's the solution? How do we stay well-informed while avoiding "paralysis by analysis"?

Personally, I like to stick with sources that tend to be right a lot more than they tend to be wrong. Sounds like a simple concept right? Well, when you factor in how the mainstream business/investing media treats the markets, being "right" doesn't matter as much as you'd think.

The business media's strategy is to gather up as many differing opinions as possible. When the markets are higher, the prime-time players come on and spout about how much higher we will go, with a sprinkle of skepticism thrown in just to play devil's advocate. When the market is struggling, the opinion is then focused on how much lower can we go. At those points, those analysts who can paint a bleaker picture are given center stage, with again a sprinkle of optimism this time, just in case the clouds start to lift.

To find the voices you can truly believe in, I suggest you stick to analysts who paint the markets how they really are, and not how the media wants you to see them. It was always my goal from day one with this kind of trusted voice who can cut through the difficult layers of data and information overload for investors. I hope we're doing just that for readers of this newsletter.

The End, or the Beginning?

I can't believe it's been more than 20 years since sports fans and the world in general were stunned to hear NBA legend Magic Johnson reveal he had tested positive for HIV. At the time, given the lack of education on the subject, most people assumed the disease was a death sentence for anyone who contracted it.

It's truly amazing to look at all that's transpired since that fateful day. Magic Johnson is not only still alive, but his health has remained very strong. Furthermore, he has flourished in the business world, and is part of the group buying the L.A. Dodgers baseball franchise for $2 billion.

Magic's road to this point certainly wasn't easy. I remember hearing several NBA players speak out against Magic Johnson playing in the NBA All-Star game following his diagnosis. These athletes were concerned about their own health in playing against Magic, wrongly believing they could contract HIV from a simple basketball game. Others were unsure of the extent of the disease and felt it was better for all involved if Magic just retired. Think about how hard such a scenario must have been - going from world famous and supremely successful in a certain arena, to being immediately shunned by your colleagues.

To Magic Johnson's credit, he did come back and play in the NBA later on. Although he didn't achieve as much success as he had previously, he was ultimately able to find the strength to go out on his terms. Since then, Magic has been an incredible entrepreneur and has not stopped living his life to the fullest.

Magic Johnson's journey is a great example to consider whenever we get dealt an unexpected blow in our lives. When you decide to truly rise to a challenge, there's no telling what's possible.

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Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks contains a full economic forecast for 2012, including in-depth analysis on 65 of the biggest dividend stocks out there. It's a great way to get prepared for your investing next year! So head over to the Premium homepage now to download your copy.

A Look to Next Week and a Weekend Preview

Looking ahead to next week, earnings will be fairly light, with reports from the likes of Monsanto ( MON ) and Schnitzer Steel ( SCHN ), just to name a few.

Be sure to catch up with our latest watchlist updates this weekend on Premium , including reports on earnings/story stocks, analyst upgrades/downgrades, dividend ETFs, and much more. And as always, you can view our current recommendations on our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks List .

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you this weekend! 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: AET , CLF , DIS , MA , MON

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