Market Wrap-Up for Oct.26 (VLO, BA, WLP, DPS, LMT, BRCM, GLD, more)


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It was yet another day the markets were able to mount an afternoon rally on the back of EU bailout package talks. At this point it would be an absolute shock if there wasn't some form of TARP proposal structure in place within the next few weeks. The surprise is how many rallies the markets have been able to benefit from as it is pretty much the same issues being talked about over and over again. Normal markets would have already priced in a good amount of the upside, but these markets have been tough to gauge for most traders who have tried to ride the ups and downs. As we have repeatedly seen during rallies, the volume has failed to impress and today was no exception. We are still seeing much stronger volume during down days. Something we are not ignoring.

In the meantime, earnings continue to move the needle. Looking at some upside performers, Boeing ( BA ), Ace Ltd. ( ACE ), Tupperware ( TUP ), and Wellpoint Inc. ( WLP ) all notched decent gains during the session. Also moving higher on takeover speculation were shares of Valero Energy ( VLO ).

On the flipside, weak earnings results pushed some of the names we were watching to the downside. Heading lower were shares of DeVry ( DV ), Dr. Pepper Snapple Group ( DPS ), CH Robinson Worldwide ( CHRW ), Automatic Data Processing ( ADP ), Lockheed Martin ( LMT ), and Broadcom ( BRCM ). Speaking of recent recommendation LMT, the defense giant did come in nicely ahead of analyst expectations and raised guidance a touch as well. The concern remains centered around future defense budgets, but we still see the stock as attractive, even after today's pullback. Gold ( GLD ) prices broke back above the $1700 mark as bailout talks continue to push investors into believing the ECB will follow the printing press solution to the current debt crisis.

Focus is Key in Business and Investing

I'm often asked about my feelings on how to build a successful brand. In my many years of being an entrepreneur, I've come to realize that focus is the main indicator of success.

Focus on what your product is before you even start a business. Focus on how you will be better than your competition. Focus on staying true to yourself and your purpose. Focus on solving the problems that you face as your company grows. Focus on being accountable, during both successes and failures. Focus on refining one product as best as you possibly can before even considering another product, service, or business.

The "all things to all people" model is nearly impossible to pull off, especially if you're looking at a short timeline. Only companies that are well-established can sell a wide variety of products and services. I tip my cap to ( AMZN ) for staying the course as they refined the parts of their business that have led to them expanding their model. Realize, though, that Amazon expanded their offerings only after they proved their worth as a niche retailer of books.

Remember, you've got to walk before you can run. At, we've considered other ideas for investing services (ETF ratings, asset management, ETF, etc.). In the end, however, our focus remains squarely on dividend investing, and on building our successes with new offerings in the dividend space.

Speaking of investing, I always try to keep readers focused on building wealth. Along the way, we face the lure of quick profits from trading the "next big thing." Business media is very pervasive these days, and they're all too eager to sell you on momentum fads that come and go.

I was a trader once myself. To be successful, I had to sacrifice an incredible amount of time each day to my research. Twelve hours a day, seven days a week. That's what it takes to profit consistently in day trading. I can safely say the odds are stacked against anyone who thinks they can pop in and pop out whenever they want and make some "fast money" in the markets.

Avoid trying to keep a daily score with your portfolio. Instead, focus on the long term and putting compound interest to work for you.

More on Compound Interest

Warren Buffett had a great snippet in his annual shareholder letter recently. Get this: within the next 10 years, Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK-A ) will start collecting more annually in dividend payouts per year from Coca-Cola ( KO ) than their actual original investment. Granted, Warren Buffett owns nearly 9% of the outstanding shares of Coca-Cola, but this anecdote reminds us all how great of an asset compound interest is.

Dividend Increases Ramping Up

In case you missed it, we saw a plethora of companies raise their dividend payouts yesterday. Be sure to check out our post running down all those changes .

A Dividend Capture Strategy for Active Investors

We now offer complete U.S. dividend data for all 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, 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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