Market Wrap-Up for Oct.6 (TGT, CAT, JOYG, MS, BAC, ORCL, more)

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Value investors have certainly busy today sorting through many "sum of the parts" business stories. These anecdotes come following the recent sell-off, claiming that beaten-up stocks are now takeover targets (of course, the pundits fail to mention how poor the fundamentals are for some of these "in play" candidates and why any acquirer would be buying "damaged goods").

I certainly hate to sound ultra-bearish when the tape continues to show green, but today's pundits have a very short memory. A large number of stocks out there are trading 40-50% lower (or more!) from their 52-week highs. We'd love to start upgrading names that could be great holdings for investors, but we need to see clear signs of a real turnaround first (as opposed to the umpteenth time market or economic bottoms have been declared).

Looking at the movers in today's market, monthly retail sales moved the tape in a positive way for the likes of Target ( TGT ) and Ross Stores ( ROST ). On the flipside, we saw some selling in shares of TJX Companies ( TJX ). Positive Wall Street commentary helped move up shares of Ralph Lauren ( RL ) and Monsanto ( MON ). Cyclical plays tied to the commodity and industrial side also rallied, led by Joy Global ( JOYG ) and Caterpillar ( CAT ). Financial laggards like Morgan Stanley ( MS ) and Bank of America ( BAC ) managed to gain ground as well during the session. Shares of Oracle ( ORCL ) are moving lower after-hours on news the company news will pay the US $199.5 million in order to resolve a suit related to the False Claims Act.

Mortgage Rates Break Below 4% (Great, But Who's Even Lending?)

If I have to read yet another story about how rates have hit historic lows and may not go any lower, I'm going to scream. Rates have been low, keep falling, and will continue to do so. Rates are not the problem, however. The problem facing the housing market is that the lending channels are frozen. Banks and mortgage lenders are simply not interested in giving out loans at rates this low. They've created a maze of obstacles that include poor selling comps and high qualification standards. And good luck if you want to refinance - you probably won't even get a call back! It drives me crazy that major media outlets don't look past the surface of the problems we face.

Gold Prices Have Every Reason to Rally, But Can They?

It's becoming clear that our neighbors over in Europe are considering a printing press-like solution to their current economic issues. If this is the case, and Europe repeats the actions of the Federal Reserve in the U.S., it could set the stage for a resumption of commodity price appreciation. Unfortunately, we all know trying to conquer debt with more debt is ludicrous, but when pushed to buy time, global leadership may not be able to resist printing money.

If gold prices do not rally here, it also could be a sign that deflation is coming home to roost faster than anyone was expecting. You can print all you want (and there are many arguing that printing more currency is the only chance you have to stave off deflationary pressures), but lower demand is tough to change overnight when people realize further spending only digs their debt hole even larger. Debt is never more destructive than when deflation takes hold. The products you are buying with borrowed money fall harder and faster in value than is expected, yet debt levels remain the same.

Steve Jobs and the Legacy Factor

The world lost one of its greatest technological innovators of all time last evening when Apple founder Steve Jobs succumbed to his battle with cancer. As news broke last night, friends shared their favorite memories of Mr. Jobs and legions of Apple fans posted tearful farewells. One tweet in particular about Mr. Jobs jumped out at me:

"Born out of wedlock, put up for adoption, dropped out of college after several months, then changed the world - What's your excuse?"

Pretty awesome tweet, I'd say!

Of course, most of us won't be able to change the world like Steve Jobs (or Ghandi, or Mother Teresa, etc.) did. We all can make an impact in our own lives, however, and create our own positive legacies. I hope we at can help people understand a better way to invest their money. In the long run, this sound financial practice can be passed on from family generation to family generation.

Anyone that has been reading my newsletter for a while has likely read about the term "legacy" and why it's important. Every one of us has the ability to build the foundation for our future family generations, and it doesn't take a lot of money to get this process under way. Having more money to start with doesn't hurt of course, but is not as much of an obstacle as you may think.

Almost none of us are born rich. The process of building on early small successes, and turning them into big successes, is what's truly valuable. Many of our readers have taken my "take charge of your own financial destiny" to heart, and it's great to hear your own success stories. I applaud you for that, and for understanding that investing does not have to be complicated. Your success stories make me feel really good about what we do here at Everyone has the ability to generate wealth, and following our strategy will allow you to get the power of compound interest behind you!

New Watchlist Article Out Today

Be sure to check out our weekly "Top 50 Watchlist Names" post that is out today, only for Premium members. Some high-beta dividend stocks will certainly be on this list as we keep everyone up-to-date on names that are working better than others in this current market environment. Our focus is more on yield, so be sure to recognize the risk of buying lower-yielding stocks.

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you tomorrow! P.S. Please pass this e-mail on to someone you think can use some financial motivation as well as being kept in the financial news loop that could affect them.

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: BAC , CAT , JOYG , MON , MS

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