Market Wrap-Up for May 29 (COP, MTN, DIS, CAT, BHP, more)


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Talk of possible stimulus/new spending measures in China as well as confidence building around the Greece/Eurozone financial situation had the indices racing higher as we start this shortened trading week.

Commodity-related stocks saw the biggest boost on the China news this morning, with stocks like CF Industries ( CF ), BHP Billiton ( BHP ), and Caterpillar ( CAT ) running higher. Wall Street analyst upgrades also got things moving as well, with stocks like Walt Disney ( DIS ), Vail Resorts ( MTN ), EOG Resources ( EOG ), and ConocoPhillips ( COP ) all benefiting from positive commentary.

"Let the Microphone Do the Work"

I just happened to watch the film "The King's Speech" this past weekend, starring Colin Firth as King George VI and his speech therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush. The movie was based on a true story centered around George VI's life of trying to overcome a stuttering condition from his youth. In one part of the move, the king was about to make a radio speech and as he prepared to enter the room for the recording, an aide gave him utterly useless words of encouragement, "let the microphone do the work."

This movie hit very close to home for me, as I too battled a stammer during my childhood days. I remember how painful it was in school, stressing out as I was called by a teacher to read a passage or answer a question. Often times, other students would just blurt out words that would give me trouble. Not until I myself went to a speech therapist in my late teens to figure out what I needed to do, would I finally get over the hurdle of conquering my speech impediment.

The sort of useless/overly general advice Colin Firth was given in "The King's Speech" mirrors the sort of things investors hear all the time. The general "save money, buy stocks/mutual funds, and continue to do so for life" advice really doesn't really help anyone achieve their goals. Clearly, we need to dig deeper to really find a solution. To make matters worse, investors like to be told what they want to hear, rather than what will actually help them. People are also often willing to accept underperformance and poor portfolio management when the markets are meandering.

To achieve the best results, you have to take a close look at how you react during both good and bad markets. I guarantee there are flaws you can uncover when you investigate further. Here at, we take a proactive approach and make sure we are not tipping too hard in any direction, bullish or bearish. As for my ability to get over my stammer, one of the keys that helped me was to realize I was always racing to get the words out too quickly for my brain to process them. Slowing down made an immense difference.

So you see, it's the same advice I give to investors these days when I try to dissuade individuals from checking in on the market/share prices too frequently (every minute of every day). You can probably see why I steer people away from trading as much as possible. Racing to get results in the end will only hold you back from what you truly can achieve if you simply pace yourself and consistently hone your strategy.

What Makes a Great Business

Just like sports teams that win championships, the best-run businesses have a deep understanding and commitment among the majority of their employees. This quality tends to translate into a commitment to customers as well. When everyone cares, you tend to win more often than you lose.

It's common to read about businesses that lose their way and eventually have to hang their "going out of business" sign. It can be as simple as a new business that misjudged the need for their product or service, or it could be that a bit of early success made management and employees complacent regarding the business' ability to continue to run well.

If you run your own business, have you recently taken a step back to understand the customer experience going on when it comes to your company? At, we try and make that a steady habit, as well as listen to some suggestions we regularly get from our readers.

I learned from a young age in the food business that it is hard to get customers coming back every day, but so easy to lose their business if you overlook a seemingly small issue. Taking care of your customers should always be front and center. Success comes and goes, but the business owner is usually in control of when when these events take place.

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I hope everyone had a chance to check out our 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing Stocks
Referenced Stocks: BHP , CAT , CF , COP , DIS

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