Markets

Market Wrap-Up for Aug.21 (BBY, AAPL, MO, PM, LO, ED, more)

With the Dow index hitting four-year highs, the hope is that retail investors will start coming in off the sidelines. The problem with this theory is that those who were trying to time the markets will end up being easily shaken out if they decide to dump a lump sum of cash to work. Instead, they should have been scaling in consistently on at least a monthly basis.

The early lift in today's action was certainly not due to Best Buy ( BBY ), which reported a dismal quarter , forcing the company to suspend further guidance as well as its buyback program. Could a dividend suspension be next? It's certainly a possibility and one to consider for those looking to chase a "value" name that continues to hit new 52-week lows.

We had a bit of a breakdown in some of the more defensive, yield-oriented names today, with tobacco plays such as Altria Group ( MO ), Lorillard ( LO ), and Phillip Morris International ( PM ) selling off, along with utility plays Consolidated Edison ( ED ) and PG&E ( PCG ). Apple ( AAPL ) hit all-time highs, but reversed to close in the red. Speaking of Apple, we have a nice write-up on the stock and its dividend you can check out here .

At What Point Does Money Make Someone a Bit Evil?

Anyone that has been following the crazy details coming out of the recent Major League Baseball steroids-related suspension of San Francisco Giants' outfielder Melky Cabrera is probably fascinated at to the degree the star outfielder and his handlers took to cover up use of a banned substance. Mr. Cabrera apparently purchased multiple existing websites and created a fake ad for a fake "tainted" product, along with a fake company to offer this product, in his attempt to skirt his failed drug test.

Not that baseball needs further questions about the drug policy in place! The National League MVP from last year, Brewers' outfielder Ryan Braun, was implicated in a similar fashion last fall. However, Braun but was able to escape the charges and win his appeal through some clever legal maneuvering that harkened back to OJ Simpson trial. Many baseball watchers still aren't sure how that case was handled and whether the decision to not suspend the outfielder was done more to protect the sport than anything else.

The problem with cases of athletes cheating tends to come down to the one basic premise of doing whatever it takes to enhance one's career as well as land a bigger payday. In Mr. Cabrera's case, he was set to become a nicely-paid free agent this coming offseason, and was putting up career-high numbers across the board. You can try and wrack your brains to why athletes take performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), but it really is as simple as the desire to make more money.

This trend extends beyond just athletes, of course. It happens in the business world and in all types of careers. For some, the ruse that is carried out can sometimes fly under the radar, while for most, the blemishes eventually show, and the charade ends with a loss of dignity, not to mention respect from those who one was likely trying to impress.

All of us have a certain level of success that may tempt our willingness to "bend the rules" slightly, but once this door is opened, the ability to close it becomes all that much harder. For those who measure success by money alone, the lure of riches will become impossible to resist. In life, hard work isn't always rewarded with wealth, but nothing can be more gratifying when you look back and can say you accomplished everything the way it was supposed to be. Hard work, while replicable, will also never be forgotten, and those efforts will never be lost on those close to you. The efforts made by those around us can either set the groundwork or can act as an obstacle. It's really on us to decide which way is the right way.

Income, Income, Income

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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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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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