Market Wrap-Up for May 1 (PFCB, CMI, AVP, EMR, ACI, more)

By Staff,

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It's a new month for the markets and with that change, new money started moving in and looking for a place to grow.

Peeking at today's main headline names, M&A continues to move shares higher, with news of restaurant play P.F. Chang's Bistro ( PFCB ) getting an offer to be taken private. Shares were up nearly 30% on the news. Elsewhere, Wall Street upgrades helped lift stocks like Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF ) and Home Depot ( HD ) higher. On the earnings front, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC ) saw gains following their results, while stocks like Avon Products ( AVP ), Emerson Electric ( EMR ), and Cummins Inc. ( CMI ) sank on their earnings numbers.

Lastly, shares of Arch Coal ( ACI ) closed 5% lower on their latest earnings results and also news it will slash its quarterly dividend payout by 73%. This development is a great example of the dangers surrounding commodity stocks and their supposedly attractive dividend yields. We are monitoring numerous commodity names that sport above-average dividend yields, but as in the case of Arch Coal, these companies may not be shy about cutting payouts in a heartbeat. Our Premium service isn't just about identifying the best dividend stocks to buy, but also many you should avoid.

Journeymen Players Tend to Perform Like Most Traders Over Time

It's funny how every so often we see a "journeyman" or "utility" player in a certain sport get his moment in the sun. These players mostly sit the bench, but sometimes get a chance to start due to another player's injury or other factors. Sometimes these replacement players wind up doing very well in their limited roles, leaving fans to ask why they don't get a shot to play every day. Then almost like clockwork, as you see the journeyman play each day, his flaws become obvious, and it's clear why he isn't an everyday starter.

Would-be day traders tend to have a similar experience in the markets. Every so often they nail a trade, netting some great profits. As a result, friends and relatives may ask them why they don't trade for a living (since they're obviously so good at it).

The longer people keep trading, however, the less success they tend to have. Unfortunately, these lessons are very costly, leading many to give up investing altogether. Trading successfully is not an impossible feat, but as I've said many times, day trading requires an incredible dedication and a very strong mindset/discipline. Any single moment of weakness can wreak havoc on a trader's brokerage account.

Throughout my nearly two decades in the markets, I've known many people who tried day trading for a living. Most of them were ultimately unsuccessful, and almost none of them still trade. Just as gamblers at a casino, these folks were always willing to share their profitable trades with me, but never seemed to mention the numerous losses that eventually caused them to exit the markets.

Dividend stocks may seem boring, and have certainly been portrayed as such by the business media. But "slow and steady" has been the winning mantra for decades. The historical data continues to back what we advocate is the best way to outperform the markets: owning high-quality dividend stocks.

Update for ConocoPhillips ( COP ) Shareholders

If you noticed a drop in ConocoPhillips' ( COP ) share price this morning, there's no reason to be alarmed. The announced spinoff of COP's downstream business, now called Phillips 66 ( PSX ), took place today.

In pursuant to the the spinoff, ConocoPhillips stockholders received one share of Phillips 66 common stock for every two shares of ConocoPhillips common stock held on the record date of April 16, 2012. Phillips 66 is now an independent publicly-traded company in which ConocoPhillips retains no ownership interest. We adjusted the dividend ratio manually on our site, but we will look for further guidance from the company regarding future dividend payouts. As of now, all signs point to COP continuing to pay a similar yield as they did prior to the spinoff.

Year-to-Date Results Just Posted

Be sure to check out the year-to-date watchlist posts up on the site today. You can see how well many of the dividend stocks we are tracking have done through the first four months of 2012. As always, you can find these and other members-only articles on Premium Articles Page .

Income, Income, Income

At, we maintain our focus on the best income-producing investments the markets have to offer during time of heightened volatility. We want to make sure we have only the most pullback-resistant names on our Best Dividend Stocks List . Also, if we see the market putting in what looks like a decent bottom, we will be prepared to scale up the list of stocks we like. Stay tuned and be sure to look for Premium member alerts along the way. Don't count on the government or your employer to set you up for a remarkable retirement. Take control, do your own research, and achieve your goals yourself!

Go Beyond This Newsletter

We know many of you enjoy reading the daily newsletter, but remember that with our Premium service, the newsletter is just one small component of what we offer. Here are the "Big Three" benefits of our Premium service:

- The Best Dividend Stocks List is used by tens of thousands of investors to help build their own portfolios.

- Creating your own Watchlist allows you to track the performance, news, and upcoming dividend payouts of the particular stocks you care about.

- Finally, we offer the most complete and easy-to-use dividend data on the web. Many subscribers use this data as part of a "Dividend Capture" trading strategy, but long-term investors can use it to keep track of impending payouts. Just visit our Ex-Dividend Calendar for a complete outlook on which companies will be paying out soon.

We don't ask for a credit card to use our free trial, and we don't bill you when your trial ends. No obligation whatsoever! So keep enjoying the newsletter, but please give Premium a shot if you haven't already subscribed!

Thanks for reading everybody. I'll see you tomorrow!

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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing Stocks
Referenced Stocks: ACI , ANF , APC , AVP , COP

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