The market was able to salvage a bit of gains for the indices as
a last hour push higher turned the averages green by the close. It
is yet another heavy week of earnings on the schedule for
investment professionals and investors alike.
We had a handful of earnings-related plays moving throughout the
session. On the upside, Peabody Energy (
) and Caterpillar (
) bounced higher following recent sell-offs for both names.
Meanwhile, Advance Auto Parts (
) shares got hit hard as the car parts retailer warned about its
profit picture for the rest of 2012. V.F. Corporation (
) was also seeing some profit-taking, despite solid numbers and a
generous hike in its dividend payout. Apple (
) shares had a big day following analysts lifting earnings
estimates ahead of Thursday afternoon's report.
Elsewhere, Wall Street analyst calls are moving some shares.
Eaton Corp (
) is moving up on positive analyst commentary, while shares of
residential REIT giant Equity Residential (
) are seeing red on a rare "Sell" call.
Yankee Fan Syndrome (Many Have it)
If you were watching Major League Baseball's playoff action last
week, you probably saw the New York Yankees get swept in a
four-game series against the Detroit Tigers. It was a bit
surprising to see a team with the highest payroll in all of
baseball (Yankees) go down with very little fight. Not just that,
but there was controversy surrounding the immortal (as some
baseball watchers like to term him) Alex Rodriguez and his in-game
distractions. Aapparently A-Rod (as he's known) was paying more
attention to a couple of attractive female fans in the first row
than to the game itself. Of course, his behavior did not sit well
with die-hard Yankee fans who are now hoping the team finds Mr.
Rodriguez a new home this winter.
Another interesting development to note was the multitude of
empty seats in Yankee Stadium during the club's first two home
games in the playoffs. Listening to sports talk radio, show hosts
and callers offered several reasons why so little fans packed the
stadium. Factors cited included expensive tickets (that has never
stopped the biggest fans from attending before), a tough economy
(certainly a viable reason but we have not seen this occur in many
of the other teams who have made the playoffs), and finally, the
fact that Yankee fans have been spoiled, with the club making the
playoffs just about every year for the last couple of decades (now
I think we're getting closer to the real reason).
I have often pointed out that years of continued success have
significant effects on people. In sports, it is almost impossible
to repeat as champions, coming off the high of winning and having
to go back to square one to do it all over again. Many don't have
the hunger or desire to put the same original effort it took to win
it the first time. With regard to Yankee fans, it's pretty likely
some decided to wait till the World Series to actually attend the
game. Many probably assumed the Yankees would make it to the
championship. After all, they were superb during the regular
season, and the experts expected the World Series was a likelihood
for the Yankee franchise once again. Complacency kicks in for many
tied to the organization (management, players, fans, media, etc.)
and next thing you know, they are watching other players/teams
playing for the title.
This sort of complacency is everywhere I turn (half-emtpy
churches on Sundays is quite the norm these days; kids with the
highest end tech gadgets before they are in even middle school; a
potential terrorist hit last week targeting the Federal Reserve,
and within 24 hours the story is at the bottom of most major media
news outlets - wasn't a successful hit so "no biggie" I guess,
etc.). The jobs situation is abysmal and yet all the news outlets
focus instead on home sales and retail numbers, patting the
consumer on his back for being "resilient."
It's not that spending money should be considered evil, but the
action of spending must make sense for the individual. Spending
should not be yet another financial weight that will hold one back
from using money in a better way. Saving and investing is so much
more important than feeding into the media's message to keep the
economy racing forward. Your responsibility is to yourself and your
family to put them in the best financial situation possible, and
then from there decide what makes sense from a financial spending
standpoint. The chance to get loaded with debt is everywhere you
turn, but with a good sense of discipline you can avoid the
complacent justification of being broke like most everyone else
We all have the opportunity to lead by example and set the tone
for how our families push forward financially. These examples will
lead to smarter generations to come. Just don't catch the
I hope everyone had a chance to check out our
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.
Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the
Best Dividend Stocks
, as well as a detailed explanation of
our ratings system here