Market Wrap-Up for Oct.22 (BTU, AAPL, CAT, VFC, AAP, more)

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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 ( BTU ) and Caterpillar ( CAT ) bounced higher following recent sell-offs for both names. Meanwhile, Advance Auto Parts ( AAP ) shares got hit hard as the car parts retailer warned about its profit picture for the rest of 2012. V.F. Corporation ( VFC ) was also seeing some profit-taking, despite solid numbers and a generous hike in its dividend payout. Apple ( AAPL ) 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 ( ETN ) is moving up on positive analyst commentary, while shares of residential REIT giant Equity Residential ( EQR ) 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 is.

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 complacency syndrome.

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.

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: AAP , AAPL , BTU , CAT , VFC

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