Market Wrap-Up for Oct.31 (DIS, PVH, F, ETN, X, STX, more)


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Following two days of unprecedented weather-related closures of the U.S. stock markets, market participants (certainly not all) got reacquainted with the averages. Volume was surprisingly strong, but it was the last day of the month for fund managers to square off their portfolios.

My gut tells me the earnings for the first quarter of 2013 will have many mentions of Hurricane Sandy-related effects (mostly in a negative way), but for some it could be simply masking what have been already declining revenue/profit trends. Either way, we can't worry so much about that at this point.

Looking at today's big headlines, acquisitions are having an impact on several well-known companies. Walt Disney ( DIS ) shares are dipping following news of the company's $4 billion purchase of Star Wars franchise Lucasfilm Ltd. Apparel brand giant PVH Corp ( PVH ) spiked on news it will be adding the Calvin Klein label to its already well known-roster of fashion labels (Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, IZOD, just to name a few) with the just-announced acquisition of The Warnaco Group.

Elsewhere, earnings results from the previous two days helped move stocks. Gaining ground on earnings news were names like Ford ( F ), Eaton Corp ( ETN ), and Flowserve ( FLS ). Moving in the other direction following earnings announcements were shares of U.S. Steel ( X ) and Seagate Technology ( STX ).

The Aftermath

It's great to be able to pen today's newsletter and know that we made it through the storm. I am actually working out of our editor Tom Reese's dining room and not our storm-ravaged office in Brigantine, New Jersey. Fortunately our office is located on the second floor of our complex, but the island got hit terribly hard, with the ocean meeting up with the bay.

It could be days before we get to check out the inside of our offices and get the operation back up and running. Despite living just five minutes from Tom's home, my family and I unfortunately lost power and are bouncing back and forth from my in-laws' home (also just five minutes away). The rest of our immediate team fortunately is safe and sound down here and are able to telecommute for us to kick back in gear as the market re-opens today.

It doesn't take long to make you realize how fortunate we all are to have all the modern conveniences after spending just 24 hours without any power. It's a a good thing and a bad thing in a sense that some of today's generation may have some coping issues. I was so happy to see my kids embracing board games by candlelight as we huddled in our basement riding out the brunt of Hurricane Sandy. My guess is others may not have been so cooperative without being able to have some sort of electronic communication attached to their fingers. You truly learn to appreciate the efforts mankind can make to help strangers in need, as there were many tales of individuals helping others flee the New Jersey barrier islands who had waited till the storm was at our doorstep to realize they were in harm's way.

I was a bit surprised to see the markets open up this morning, but with the last day of the month upon us, some of the "powers that be" may have figured the book on October needed to be closed in the usual manner. I would imagine trader-types that have been sitting with inventory may have been panicking more about when the market would open and how it would react. That's never any fun, and not something I miss. Openings on days like today where the action is hard to measure is where technical issues can come into play, and that's last thing individual investors want to be worrying about. I had my share of "bad fills" that I used to spend endless amounts of time with my broker on the phone trying to get adjusted back in the old trading days. I quickly learned to avoid making daily bets at the opening, so to avoid the mess. But again, certainly those are days I do not miss!

Anyhow, my prayers are with those whose lives have been affected by the storm in more serious ways than we have been. It won't be long before we are are back to a semblance of normalcy for the global markets and life (which is always more important) in general. Rest assured, we are here to answer any and all questions relating to the world of dividends, including the biggest one that people have been asking regarding dividend dates from the previous couple of sessions.

Ex-Dividend Date Changes

We've gotten word from the stock exchanges that several stocks' ex-dividend dates will be adjusted due to the market's closure on Monday and Tuesday. We expect most stocks that were supposed to go ex-dividend on those dates will have their ex-dates pushed back a few days.

We'll have a ton of updates tonight I'm sure as the daily feeds will get from the exchanges will be chock full of these new dates. Those updates should be made by 11pm EST this evening, and you can consult our ex-dividend calendar below for the new dates once they're posted: Ex-Dividend Calendar

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 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 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.

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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