Market Wrap-Up for Oct.15 (GE, MAT, GOOG, AAPL, AMZN, BAC, WFC, JPM, more)


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For the second year in a row, the nearly 54 million retirees and other Americans who receive Social Security benefits will not get any cost-of-living increase in 2011 in their monthly checks, government officials announced Friday morning.

I continue to urge investors to get away from relying on the government for any retirement safe haven fix. The time to get your own income stream of dividends is now. There are still plenty of great opportunities in the market, despite the fact some names we have recommended have gone up 50-100% just in stock price alone. Look at Reynolds American( RAI ) , which just announced a nearly 9% dividend increase this morning. The stock is up over 60% since our recommendation, and with the dividend increase will still yield over 6%. There are plenty of dividend opportunities on our "Best Dividend Stocks" list to get one started. Get in the business of putting your money to work today, if you have not already done so. Trading stocks may look sexy, but too often all it takes is one bad trade to nullify numerous profitable trades. In contrast, dividend investing is about slow and steady winning the race.

Back to the markets. A couple of disappointing results from General Electric( GE ) and Mattel( MAT ) pushed the markets to closed mixed. Traders went crazy chasing shares of Google ( GOOG ) higher, then went frantic after shares of high-beta plays ( AMZN ) and Apple ( AAPL ) which are reporting next week. The Qualcomm( QCOM ) circa-1999 buying frenzy is happening as I mentioned it possibly could a few weeks back, with the triple-digit high-fliers. Never the best situation for the markets when this party ends. Elsewhere, we saw another strong pullback in the financial space today. Shares of Bank of America( BAC ) , Wells Fargo( WFC ) and JP Morgan( JPM ) all trended lower once again. We have avoided the "value hunt" in the financial space and rightfully so. A questionable earnings picture and extremely low dividend yields are not what we find as attractive investment ideas.

Looking ahead to next week, earnings reports really begin to ramp up, with Goldman Sachs( GS ) , IBM Corp( IBM ) , McDonald's( MCD ) , and many more set to report. Be sure to catch up with our latest watchlist updates this weekend on Premium .

Have a great weekend everybody, and thanks for reading!

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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