Market Wrap-Up for Nov.21 (DE, SCHL, AAPL, WMT, STJ, more)

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The day before Thanksgiving saw the averages push higher as volume slowly disappeared once the afternoon session started winding down. .

We are starting to hear our first previews of what "Black Friday" may look like sales-wise, as well as other reports questioning if Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT ) is "evil" for opening on Thanksgiving. I'll leave that impression up to my readers, but I do have some comments about the whole "Black Friday" hoopla below.

As for the markets, we were focusing on earnings plays like Deere & Co. ( DE ), and Scholastic Corp ( SCHL ) which saw strong selling on their reports. We were also keeping tabs on how Apple ( AAPL ) traded, and how much of the recent bounce the share price will be able to maintain. It's mostly a psychological tell for us as we take the temperature of the markets and whether the retail/institutional investor will end up drawing lines in the sand defending their position in the most popular and most widely owned investment idea on the planet. It was a tough day for shares of St. Jude Medical ( STJ ) as the company's stock sank 12% on concerns over the company's recent heart device product.

Sell Call on Former Recommendation

Be sure to check out the latest update on a stock we think could be facing some tough headwinds in the years ahead and why investors may want to use any rallies to ring the register and move out of the stock.

The Fallacy of Black Friday

As consumers get set to make a break for the stores this Friday (some will be open Thursday night to help those who may have eaten a bit too much digest a bit better) and get the "deals of a lifetime," the reality is the prices seen on Friday will likely be even better if people wait one extra week and not have to scramble like lunatics. I get the idea that people love to do the Black Friday experience because they will save some more money than maybe they would have otherwise, but if they just stepped back and looked at the reality of the economics of their decision, they probably wouldn't spend Thanksgiving worrying about the next event.

In life, we don't get too many chances to be around our extended family and catch up on how life is outside our own little circle. That's what holidays are for. Sure, we'll be shaking our heads at times at what we hear, but it's our family, we expect them to be all over the map when we don't see people for a long time. Pay no mind to the media inciting the shopping chaos. They know no better and are simply pumping up the advertisers that help keep them in business.

It's a Bull, No It's a Bear, No It's a Bull…

Despite how un-listenable business media can be these days, we know there are multitudes of investors tuned in looking for guidance. For investors, perhaps the most important factor is finding reliable sources of information that help you formulate your investing strategy. The mainstream business media is loaded with all sorts of "gurus" - from those who advise on how the markets will perform in the next 5 hours, to those who specialize in specific industries or sectors. And then you have the economists, whose aim is to predict how consumers will be affected from the recent monetary twists and turns. Throw in anchors that take it upon themselves to defend every market drop as an over-reaction, until the selling intensifies and they start asking the experts if investors should be selling. Tune in several days later and any rally will be taken as a sign the bull market is roaring once again. Once the buying goes on for several days, they will bring on the "how high can these markets" go super-optimists. The word "manic" can't do this sort of coverage any justice.

If you wind up listening to the wrong guru for your overall investment strategy, i.e. one who doesn't fit your personal objectives, you'll undoubtedly be disappointed by your results. The same concept applies to life in general. Surround yourself with people who spew shallow opinions with little relevant facts to back up their take, and sooner or later you will likely become a member of this traveling band of misguided observers.

Our Dividend.com users are a very hands-on bunch, as we found out from a recent survey we did on the website. We asked how many of our subscribers handle their own investments, without the aid of an investment advisor or full-service broker. An overwhelming 80.5% indicated they did not use an advisor to help guide their investments.

Our stance has always been that most people are fully able to make their own investment decisions, especially when they use the simple dividend investing strategy we advocate here at Dividend.com. Of course, that doesn't mean you should never consider speaking with a financial planner or estate attorney during times when their particular expertise can be of great use.

You'd be surprised at how people well people can do for themselves when they put the right strategy and knowledge into practice!

An Important Note Regarding the Best Dividend Stocks List

We want to make sure everyone understands that the stocks on our Best Dividend Stocks List are the names we currently like for new investor capital, regardless of what date the stock was first recommended on. If and when a stock is removed from the list, we will clearly state whether the stock should be sold (which is rare but occasionally will happen), or simply held in one's account until we see a better entry point or catalyst.

And here's one last thing to remember about what we do here at Dividend.com: it's not just the names that we recommend that can help you build wealth, but also the things we try to steer you away from that are just as important. Forget about speculative or penny stocks, chasing unprofitable IPOs, and listening to the manic talking heads in the business media!

A Dividend Capture Strategy for Active Investors

We now offer complete U.S. dividend data for all Dividend.com Premium members, so anyone that focuses on "Dividend Capture" trading strategies should have plenty of good stuff to research each day. Just check our enhanced Ex-Dividend Calendar , which is the best in the business, to search for upcoming payouts.

Speaking of dividend capture, Dividend.com Premium members can also access a 9-page report we published on the essential elements to any successful dividend capture strategy. Be sure to check it out here on the Premium homepage .

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: AAPL , DE , SCHL , STJ , WMT

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