It was quite a wild day for the markets following the 10:00am EST speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in which the chairman did say they have available tools they can use when necessary to help stabilize the economy. This gave investors a bit of comfort and led us to a good-sized rally. In fact, this was the first up week for the averages out of the last five. I'm not quite sure there was much I personally took out of the speech, but we'll take it and that's what I have been saying when we see quirky market action to the upside lately. Any rally can certainly can help investors get out of any poorly-performing investments.
We sa shares of Tiffany & Co. ( TIF ) gain on the company's earnings results and raised guidance. Positive Wall Street commentary on shares of Qualcomm ( QCOM ) and Broadcom ( BRCM ) helped push those tech names higher. We are saw green on the screen for commodity plays Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF ) and Potash Corp ( POT ). The companies could be seeing a lift from traders looking at rising commodity prices in the near-term from any sustained Hurricane Irene storm damage. Other winners in today's action included Coach ( COH ), Boeing ( BA ) and Deere & Co. ( DE ).
We keep hearing stories about the government initiating a new program to adjust mortgage rates for borrowers who have been unable to reduce their rates previously. Earlier this week, it was reported that home prices in the U.S. fell 5.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline since 2009. The continued rise of foreclosures added to the inventory of properties for sale.
The pipeline of foreclosures could take years to get through, and the government knows this. They also know that banks are not dealing in good faith when it comes to helping borrowers (even those with great credit) to work out better terms for their existing loans. Of course, lenders can simply point to the trend of decreasing home values in making their path difficult. Washington believes that it we can reduce people's rates, the extra money saved will be put back to work in the economy. I would prefer a different initiative to encourage people to save some of those funds instead. Fixing one wound (interest rates) will not help the major wound for many, which is a lack of savings and preparedness for retirement.
You see, it doesn't take much to convince anyone to go out and spend. That's a simple task. We don't even have to leave the house to spend money. Turn on your computer and you can turn in a million different directions to spend your hard-earned dollars. I'm more concerned about what people will need for their later years!
As the government ponders various mortgage programs, I'd like everyone to just stay focused on the here and now. Think about what you can do to build up wealth for those later years. Many of us still have major expenses we'll need to face in the future, like buying a home or paying for college.
If you need encouragement from a third party, you may want to set up an appointment with a certified financial planner who can take the temperature of your current financial situation. If you do set up a meeting, be sure to come clean with exactly what is happening money-wise. You should look for someone that has experience in areas such as tax planning, investments, insurance, retirement planning, and estate planning. You may need help looking through your current 401K, as many people don't know exactly what they're investing in. Trust me, 401K plans tend to be ignored - even more so if they are dropping in value. You'll need to find out how your planner is compensated as well. Is it through commission, fee only, or fee-based (a combination of commission and fees)? If they are not strong in an area you need the most help in, then they aren't the right fit. Don't settle! Everyone's situation is different. Someone could be coming into a large amount of money in the next few years and need to set up an estate plan, for example. And there are numerous other factors that can get pretty complicated. Do your homework first before deciding.
At Dividend.com, we are maintaining our focus on the best income-producing investments the markets have to offer during time of heightened volatility. We want to make sure we have only the most pullback-resistant names on our "Best Dividend Stocks" list . Also, if we see the market putting in what looks like a decent bottom, we will be prepared to scale up the list of stocks we like. Stay tuned and be sure to look for Dividend.com Premium member alerts along the way.
Looking ahead to next week, quarterly earnings will continue to trickle in as continue to see how well corporate America did in the second calendar quarter. Watch for earnings results from the likes of Campbell Soup ( CPB ), Joy Global ( JOYG ), and H&R Block ( HRB ), just to name a few.
Be sure to catch up with our latest watchlist updates this weekend on Dividend.com Premium , including reports on earnings/story stocks, analyst upgrades/downgrades, dividend ETFs, and much more. And as always, you can view our current recommendations on our industry-leading "Best Dividend Stocks" list .
Thanks for reading my newsletter, everybody! Please pass this on to anyone you think we can get inspired and educated about building wealth and using common sense to do so.
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