While the focus on holiday shopping continues ("Cyber Monday" being the story of the day in media land), the realization that someone has to pay those bills inspired some nervousness early on in the market day.
The news flow waqs fairly light, but companies in the news today included UnitedHealth Group ( UNH ), which was slightly lower after management trimmed their 2013 profit guidance. In contrast, McGraw-Hill ( MHP ) gained a touch on news the company was selling its education unit for $2.5 Billion.
Wall Street analysts were also back in action, with Citigroup once again initiating Apple ( AAPL ) with a Buy rating. The firm apparently have several analysts covering Apple's stock. You can't have enough buy ratings on one stock I guess! As for another interesting upgrade call, Deutsche Bank sees a good entry point for shares of nuclear utility play Exelon ( EXC ) despite the worries of a dividend cut growing. Elsewhere, we had cautious Wall Street commentary pushing shares of McDonald's ( MCD ) and H.J. Heinz ( HNZ ) (valuation call as shares hit all-time highs) lower by the close.
"This is the Last Time, I'm Serious"
It almost never fails. Each year before the holidays many people will talk about skipping the chaos and insanity of shopping on "Black Friday," yet almost very year, we reach new heights as far as record sales numbers go (not to mention all the videos of people going wild or brawling over sale items). It's just another aspect of human nature: we talk about doing one thing and end up doing something else, for better or worse (usually worse!).
For those who may have overdone it on the holiday spending, the reality will soon hit as the credit card bill comes in, but don't worry, the credit card company "will work with you" and ask for just the minimum. Aren't they super-kind? They're willing to let the fees add and rake in much more over time than they would have normally received. Minimum payments are the biggest trap of credit cards, yet many somehow see them as a benefit.
The desire to have the latest handbags, shoes, gradgets, clothes, etc. is a common theme we see everywhere we turn. The "gotta have it" syndrome runs rampant, but many economists will label the holiday sales pop as a characteristic of a strong economy. If you ask me, running up credit card bills on expensive items one can't afford will not be beneficial to the economy in the long term, and especially for the many that will spend the next few months working just to keep the credit card tab current. This is money lost that can be growing in assets that produce income. Oh well, hopefully people's mentality will change over time. In the interim, human nature taking its course is a pretty safe bet.
At Dividend.com, our message will remain the same. Your money must work for you and not the other way around. Invest smart and don't let the masses negatively influence your long-term financial outlook.
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.
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