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Market Wrap-Up for May 12 (CSCO, BCE, THI, GS, ETP, more)

The market was faring poorly early on, but a rebound in commodity prices helped lift the averages as we got into the afternoon.

Cisco Systems ( CSCO ) disappointed many value investors today as the tech titan warned its revenue would fall below expectations. The company also unveiled plans to cut several jobs across many of its units. We would love to Cisco commit more of its $43 billion cash hoard to increasing its dividend, which currently yields below 1.5%.

Elsewhere, two well-known Canadian companies reported numbers this morning and the verdict was split. Shares of BCE Inc. ( BCE ), a telecom play we like closed higher on their quarterly results. On the flip side, doughnut and coffee chain Tim Horton's ( THI ) was lower following their earnings report. Meanwhile, analyst downgrades hit the MLP sector today. Energy Transfer Equity L.P. ( ETP ) and NuStar Energy L.P. ( NS ) were two names being directly affected by those downgrades. Also, well-known financial services analyst Dick Bove threw in the towel on Goldman Sachs ( GS ), as he's worried about further Department of Justice investigations into the firm. Bove cut his rating on GS to "Sell" this morning.

Be sure to check out the latest change we made to our recommended list this morning if you didn't see the email alert we sent out earlier to Premium members.

Also be sure to check out our weekly "Top 50 Watchlist Names" post that is out today, also only for Premium members.

Do yourself a favor and check out this 3-month CD chart for the last 10 years:

If this was a stock, you would be heading for the exits just on a technical basis. I have several older relatives that are notorious Bank CD disciples, who have been in total frustration the last few years over the lack of returns on their CDs. If they had been investing in quality dividend-paying stocks instead, they would be sitting on some solid gains. For instance, we've seen tobacco plays like Phillip Morris International ( PM ) and Reynolds American ( RAI ) double in share price the last three years alone, not counting the dividend payouts and increases.

It's quite possible we could stay in a super-low interest rate environment for quite a few more years. If you don't believe me, check out this interest rate chart showcasing the pitiful Japanese interest rates from the past 25 years:

I can't stress it enough that investors need to continually look to buy quality income-producing assets. Being a saver simply isn't enough in today's economic environment. Consumer inflation is all around us (food, gas prices, taxes, etc.), despite the government maintaining its stance that inflation isn't happening. Anyone on Social Security knows the rate of social security cost of living (COLA) increases have been non-existent recently, but regardless of age, you have to think long and hard about how you are set up to withstand these fixed costs going forward. Today, if you are pursuing higher education, you have to realistically consider the costs and the time it will take to complete your education goals. If you are majoring in business, you will have to compete with many students that already have Masters' degrees (and are still unemployed). Graduate school is almost becoming a must in certain fields.

If you're a parent, you also need to consider the financial ramifications of higher education, and what those costs will do to your household. Parents always want the best for their children (as I mentioned before, I know parents who pay $75 an hour for their 10 year-old's baseball pitching lessons!).

Again, the biggest key is consistently putting your money to work. This practice will help you avoid lean times later in life, as smart money moves continue to pay off down the line. And remember, if you're in a financial bind, you won't be able to fix it overnight. Just start chipping away at your debts, starting from the highest interest rate ones, and work your way down.

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 the financial news loop that could affect them. Thanks again!

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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