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Market Wrap-Up for Dec.14 (BBY, AAPL, AMGN, DE, MRO, more)

Posted: 12/14/2012 4:38:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: AAPL;AMGN;BBY;DE;ETH

This morning's CPI numbers, which showed that the cost of living fell 0.3% last month, gave skeptics some fresh ammunition to question the validity of governmental statistics. I know that gas prices have been dropping, but the costs of many other goods have clearly not been. Can it be that it's actually cheaper to get by now than it was a couple of months ago? I can tell you that most of my personal expenses continued on their merry up-ticking ways, but the data must know something we all don't.

Best Buy ( BBY ) gave back much of yesterday's rally, as the company extended the date for its former founder to make a bid. This move has inspired many investors to head for the exits, as the hope for a buyout seem to be fading.

Amgen ( AMGN ) shares finished nearly unchanged after the biotech giant updated the investment community with news of a hefty dividend hike (bringing it above 2%). Wall Street analyst calls that moved stocks included positive commentary on Marathon Petroleum ( MRO ) and Deere & Co. ( DE ), while cautious commentary moved stocks like Apple ( AAPL ) and Ethan Allen ( ETH ) lower.

The Skill Set Needed to Thrive in Investing

If you have ever watched any skilled professional up close to see how focused they are in their craft regardless of what is going on around them (think athletes, actors, musicians, trades people, etc.), you will see the amazing ability they have in being able to perform under pretty much any circumstances. Now they weren't necessarily born with such a skill. Unquestionably they worked hard on it to excel above their peers.

At we go about our day with the same approach. There are so many events happening on a daily basis that can easily fluster any market veteran if they lose sight of the big picture. For individual investors, the distractions are constant. Unless an individual investor can dedicate themselves to just the markets, they will likely need to rely on sources they can trust to stay grounded in their market approach. The problem for the markets, especially in how the media tackles the daily events, is that they make for too many swings in emotion.

If you and I are truly to succeed over the long term, we can not be distracted by every little news blip that is portrayed as another monumental market-shifting event. The idea is not to ignore the blips, but to factor how they will really effect the outcome in the months and years ahead. The market does an admirable job of pricing in future events sooner than most new investors realize. Stay focused and let's take it one day at a time. The trip to building wealth will simply take as long as it takes.

On a separate note, our prayers go out to the families of those affected in today's tragic news coming out of Newton, Connecticut. As a parent myself, I can't even imagine what is going through those families' lives at this moment. All we can do is just pray.

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Looking Toward Next Week

Looking ahead to the next week for stocks, we will see earnings results from the likes of Oracle ( ORCL ), General Mills ( GIS ), FedEx ( FDX ), and Nike ( NKE ), just to name a few. Throw in the latest economic data and fiscal cliff updates, and investors will have plenty of news to absorb as usual.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .