Market Wrap-Up for Aug.2 (PFE, NYX, ADM, COH, RL, AXP, more)

The market did what is often called "sell on the news", when it came to today's passing of the debt ceiling resolution. Not only that, but the S&P gains for the year are now gone for 2011.

We are continuing to fine-tune our Best Dividend Stocks List , and this morning we took off two stocks that have underperformed when compared with the rest of our favorite names. Be sure to check out the post from earlier today to see which names they were. Also, in a rare move for us, we advocated taking any profits and selling one of the stocks at these levels.

As for the market action and what led the way lower, shares of Capital One Financial ( COF ) and American Express ( AXP ) were in the red as talk of slowing consumer spending dominates today's economic headlines. Earnings results failed to muster up any buying action, as Coach ( COH ) shares were lower after failing to exceed the most optimistic street projections. Archer Daniels Midland ( ADM ) was also lower despite reporting decent results. This name could get interesting soon as its yield rises.

Elsewhere, two names we currently like moved lower following results as well. Pfizer ( PFE ) traded down today, as the company continues to make moves to enhance shareholder value in anticipation of drug patent expiration. Also, NYSE Euronext ( NYX ) shares finished in the red. The company continues to offer upside potential due to its upcoming merger with Deutsche Boerse possibly being approved. Plus, the stock offers a yield approaching the 3.75% levels. Heavy selling also took place in shares of companies like Polo Ralph Lauren ( RL ), Tiffany's ( TIF ), and Polaris Industries ( PII ).

This should be an interesting month for the markets as we continue to see lackluster economic data being reported. This morning's consumer spending report was a disappointment, as consumers cut back on their spending in June for the first time in nearly two years. Also, the report showed incomes grew by the smallest amount in nine months. Despite all the ramblings going on in Washington, corporations and businesses remain tight on new hires, preferring to do "more with less." In the last two days, we have heard about further layoffs from banks HSBC (30,000 in the next 3-4 years) and Barclays (3,000 this year). A recent study from the National Employment Law Project found that by far the bulk of the jobs lost during the economic recession, 60%, were in the middle range of the income scale. That compares to 21.3% for workers in high income jobs, and 18.7% for low-wage workers.

This trend leads to a clogged system when it comes to real estate buyers with aspirations of moving/trading up. When talking to a few realtor friends of mine, they tell me the current environment is very hard on their deal pipeline. One deal falls apart and it affects two other deals that were hoping to get closed. Throw this scenario on top of stringent borrowing measures from the banks/lenders and the real estate standstill remains. Unfortunately these situations all lead to stress levels rising in one's home, but the idea is not to lose focus of what your long-term financial goals are. Personally, I moved several times before settling in our current home the last 9 years, so I know how overwhelming things can be.

This is a time to identify your true financial priorities and dedicate the majority of your time to addressing those. When you remove all the psychological caps that people tend to place on themselves, you gain a sense of freedom and become rather fearless from a money standpoint. Knowing that failure will not be permanent is another aspect that gives one the conviction to power through daily obstacles that come along. I like to think of this quote from 19th-century author Henry David Thoreau: "As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."

Dividend investing allows an investor the opportunity to put compound interest to work for them, and it's never too early or too late to become a dividend investor. The key is once you start, you need to stay consistent and make money available to put to work for you. That's it. Don't count on the government or your employer to set you up for a remarkable retirement. Take control, do your own research, and create one for yourself. It's great to hear from subscribers that have said they are seeing superb results, and for the first time feel like they have an actual game plan for building and maintaining their wealth. The best thing we can do as individual investors is look for opportunities where we receive great income (dividends) from the companies who can best weather the economic storms ahead. You can count on to be your guide in that arena. As always, you can find all of our current recommendations on our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks List .

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 thefinancial newsloop 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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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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