Market Wrap-Up for Dec.19 (SCHN, MS, BAC, C, JPM, FDX, more)

With less than two weeks to go for traders to put a cap on 2011, the market started this pre-holiday week on a sour note on widespread rumors of further trouble mounting for the European debt crisis.

This week and next historically tend to be fairly uneventful as meaningful earnings reports are few (much of which will occur this week). That said, before we dig into today's market action, here is an important message to consider as the holiday season quickly approaches.

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Markets Turning Red

The early rise in the indices this morning gave way to a decent wave of selling. Steel play Schnitzer Steel ( SCHN ) came out with an earnings warning earlier today , which negatively affected other steel names as well, including U.S. Steel ( X ). It was another troublesome day for the financials, with names like Morgan Stanley ( MS ), Citigroup ( C ), and J.P. Morgan ( JPM ) pushing lower. Also, Bank of America ( BAC ) shares broke below what some consider to be an important psychological $5 mark as more selling hits the stock. Last week's earnings winner FedEx ( FDX ) also took part in the selling, losing more than $3.

Hearing vs. Listening

We've all given advice to or counseled loved ones at one time or another. Sometimes, people will listen closely and consciously make an effort to follow our advice. Others times, it seems like the words just go in one ear and out the other.

When it comes to looking for quality companies for us to put on our Best Dividend Stocks List , we at Dividend.com try to really listen to what the market is telling us through the day-to-day price action in the approximately 1,600 dividend names we cover. Truly "listening" and absorbing the message of the markets can often mean the difference between building a portfolio of winning names or owning a compilation of hits and misses.

As always, you can expect our Dividend.com Premium service to understand this market dynamic each and every day we dig deep into the numbers. My team and I understand what an amazing privilege it is to be able to share our work with the many who have been reading and subscribing to our service from the early years to the present.

For you newer investors out there, take the time to learn as much as you can about the markets, but don't veer away from the investing opportunities that have made many savvy people wealthy for decades. Make sure you know who it is you are listening to!

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I hope everyone had a chance to check out our Dividend.com Premium members-only weekend articles , including new features that highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that was, such as analyst upgrades/downgrades and earnings/story stocks. These articles are a great way to catch up on the week that was in the markets. We also have a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs performed on the week.

Thanks for reading everybody. I'll see you tomorrow!

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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