As the media focuses on the mayhem surrounding "Black Friday" sales, including shopping frenzies and riots taking place in various locations, the markets were trying to erase some of the damage done earlier this week but potentially gloomier headlines out of Europe (including S&P cutting the debt rating for Belgium) pushed the averages to close in the red.
There wasn't much of a theme we could point to for today's session as there little Wall Street analyst coverage or earnings reports to focus on. Looking at some of the better performers, investors looked at yield-centric plays such as Lockheed Martin ( LMT ), Consolidated Edison ( ED ), and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. ( KMP ). On the flip side, sellers were fairly active in names like Broadcom ( BRCM ), Potash Corp ( POT ), and Novartis ( NVS ).
The day after Thanksgiving session doesn't usually indicate any reliable overall market sentiment, but it certainly doesn't hurt to see a bit of green following what has been a big week of selling by investors.
Slowdown in China Appears Imminent
A preliminary gauge of China's manufacturing activity (HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index) slid to 48.0 in November, the lowest since March 2009. There is definitely an increased likelihood China may have to begin quantitative easing (lowering interest rates) if they are going to get ahead of impending slowdown. The pullback in commodity prices (which we've been pointing out for the past few months) is certainly proof that demand from China is waning. On a positive note, lower commodity prices could provide some relief to corporations and consumers here in America.
How Much Do I Need to Save?
A report out from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College highlighted what would be the appropriate annual rate of savings for individuals at different points in their lives:
So, we see from this table that a 25 year-old would have to save 22% of his annual income in order to safely retire at the age of 62. Clearly, the earlier you start to sock away some savings (and invest as well), the easier your road will be to enjoying your retirement years.
"A Nurse or a Purse"
I have to pass along an interesting little item from my holiday gathering yesterday. I was talking to my mother-n-law who lives in an active 55 & Older community.
She told me that many of the people in community are quite the the socialites when it comes to their regular events (dinners, dances, trips, etc.). She was also mentioning how there are also quite a few single women (divorced, widowed, etc.) who are actively looking for a companion (this has all the makings of a Seinfeld episode if you ask me). Anyway, one of her friends said to her, all the single men there are looking for is either "a nurse or a purse."
Aside from the humor of this phrase, it got my gears turning a bit. The first thing that came to mind was how someone may want to keep tabs on a parent or loved one who could be in a situation of vulnerability. It's all too easy to fall prey to a would-be "Casanova" who may not have the best intentions. Making sure one's estate is protected and set up properly is the ultimate way to avoid any financial devastation in one's later years. And vice-versa: if you have a parent or loved one on the male side of the equation, you want to be careful that a certain femme fatale doesn't take advantage of the situation.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and maybe you received some good nuggets of wisdom at the dinner table like I did!
Our "Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks" eBook Will be Released Today!
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A Look to Next Week and a Weekend Preview
Looking ahead to next week, quarterly earnings results will be fairly light. We will still see reports from the likes of Tiffany & Co. ( TIF ), Barnes & Noble ( BKS ), and H&R Block ( HRB ), however, 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, and I'll see this weekend! 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.
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