Market Wrap-Up for May 14 (JPM, AVP, MS, CAT, C, TIF, more)

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Weakness in the European markets set the tone for the U.S. averages early on today, and the selling remained consistent throughout much of the session. The negative cloud overhanging the financial sector following JP Morgan's ( JPM ) late-week trading loss revelation is not something investors are likely to forget any time soon.

Speaking of the financials, we witnessed continued selling in stocks like Morgan Stanley ( MS ), Citigroup ( C ), Deutsche Bank ( DB ), and Wells Fargo ( WFC ). Commodity stocks continued to take on water as well, as investors watch oil, gold, and other commodity prices get hit. Commodity-related equipment plays had their fair share of selling today, with names like Caterpillar ( CAT ), Deere ( DE ), and Joy Global ( JOY ) all finishing in the red.

Wall Street analyst downgrades today also pushed down shares of Tiffany ( TIF ) and Republic Services Group ( RSG ). Avon Products ( AVP ) bucked the overall downtrend, moving higher as the company said it will consider a recent takeover bid from a competitor.

Changing the Subject

People tend to change the subject of conversation whenever a sore topic is brought up. Some folks hate their jobs and thus don't want to talk about the workplace. Others are bad with budgeting and like to avoid personal finance issues. Still others avoid talking about investing, either because they don't understand it or because they've been burned by the markets in the past.

I remember back in the late 90s, everyone and their cousin considered themselves stock traders. People with very little experience or understanding of the markets were making lots of money just buying all the latest tech IPOs. No one was shy to talk about their latest investments. When the tech bubble burst, however, people's portfolios turned south. Many were knocked out of the markets altogether. All of a sudden, the subject of trading stocks became taboo.

Thankfully, many folks have since embraced dividend investing as a much more reliable method of building long-term wealth. Our loyal readers here at Dividend.com aren't really interested in the next batch of "lottery ticket" stocks. These fine folks aren't shy about talking about investing with friends and family. The beauty of compound interest is something most people love to share.

You're Only as Good as Your Latest Referral

Up in Boston these days, baseball results aren't going the way the team had planned. With turmoil surrounding the team's new manager and several of the key veterans we highlighted a while back , the Red Sox have gotten off to an awful start. Well, a new controversy recently emerged from the struggling team.

Veteran pitcher Josh Beckett, who some point to as a catalyst for the continuing tension, has again landed himself in hot water. You see, Mr. Beckett was recently scratched from a scheduled start because of a minor injury. No big deal, right? He was sore and the team decided it was best for him to sit out. Beckett proceeded to play a round of golf on his day off, however, instead of just resting (which presumably is what he was supposed to be doing).

Beckett's response to criticism regarding his golf outing was pretty simple. He said he'll do whatever he wants to do on his day off. Obviously, some people (both in and outside the team) took offense to his commentary. Some media types are even calling Beckett a "cancer" in the Red Sox locker room.

Maybe the bridges between Josh Beckett and the organization are damaged beyond repair, but when you come out as defiant as he has, you are not exactly doing much to excite potential future employers. The rest of us who don't make millions of dollars a year can ill afford to pull the kind of move Beckett has.

Getting caught up in the moment of turmoil has potential lasting effects. You never know when you'll need to pick up a new job, and controversy can follow you around for years. Little good ever comes out of being defiant, unless of course you are prepared to walk the walk of becoming an entrepreneur (which most people aren't).

Mr. Beckett may be paving the road to a new team, but his attitude will certainly precede him. The only to erase that negativity is to work hard and begin pitching well again, which is easier said than done.

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I hope everyone had a chance to check out our Dividend.com Premium members-only weekend articles , including new features that highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that was, such as analyst upgrades/downgrades and earnings/story stocks. These articles are a great way to catch up on the week that was in the markets. We also have a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs performed on the week.

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 The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AVP , C , CAT , DB , DE

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