Market Wrap-Up for June 27 (MKC, LEN, GIS, M, JWN, ED, SO, more)

Strong economic data (pending home sales and durable goods orders) helped keep investors optimistic about a potential positive trend developing here in the U.S. during today’s market session.

Earnings winners in the tape today included McCormick & Co. (MKC) (report here) and Lennar Corp (LEN) (read more). On the flipside, shares of cerealmaker General Mills (GIS) were lower on the company’s cautious outlook. On a positive note, the company did raise its annual dividend payout 8%.

Elsewhere, positive analyst commentary helped boost shares of Flowserve (FLS) while shares of retailers Macy’s (M) and Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) are lower on negative analyst chatter. An interesting development we noticed was the relative outperformance of utility plays Con Edison (ED) and Southern Company (SO) despite an overall strong tape. With utility names usually reserved for places to hide during iffy periods, strong utility stock prices could be either a sign fund managers are buying the names to window-dress their holdings for the quarter-end — or perhaps investors may not be thinking the current rally has real legs.

Google-ize Your Agenda

You may have heard about Google’s time management principles described as “70-20-10.” Essentially, 70% of the time the company is focused on the core/current efforts of the company, 20% of the time the company is working on adjacent areas and expansion of some ideas, and 10% of the time working on absolutely anything the employees want to. The final 10% there is difficult to capitalize on, since the time is capped so strictly. However, all it takes is one great idea to stem from the 10% of “play” time for it to all be worthwhile.

I was recently wondering how the 70-20-10 principle can be used for the average person in his or her life. The part that intrigues me the most is the final 10%. Why? Because this “play” time will separate people who want to continually learn new things from those who aren’t ambitious enough to improve themselves. I find this 10% of time extremely important, since you must be willing to engage in new thought processes and experiences in order to grow as a person.

The more you deny yourself this experimental time, the more limited your lifetime returns will be. Even if you’ve achieved most of your goals and enjoy a consistent living, there’s always room for improvement. And remember, the world is ever-changing. I’ve seen plenty of very smart people caught off-guard when their career or business is dealt an unexpected turn. With no backup plan or new set of skills, these people sometimes flounder for a bit before stabilizing themselves to get on with their lives.

If you can dedicate 10% of your time to learn new ideas, skills, methods, etc., I believe you will do yourself and your finances a huge service. You truly never know which way life can lead you, so why not be open to always learning?

An Important Note Regarding the Best Dividend Stocks List

We want to make sure everyone understands that the stocks on our Best Dividend Stocks List are the names we currently like for new investor capital, regardless of what date the stock was first recommended on. If and when a stock is removed from the list, we will clearly state whether the stock should be sold (which is rare but occasionally will happen), or simply held in one’s account until we see a better entry point or catalyst.

And here’s one last thing to remember about what we do here at it’s not just the names that we recommend that can help you build wealth, but also the things we try to steer you away from that are just as important. Forget about speculative or penny stocks, chasing unprofitable IPOs, and listening to the manic talking heads in the business media!

Our Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks eBook Has Arrived!

We just debuted our brand new 275-page eBook, exclusively on! In this digital-only book, we look ahead to 2012 and the main factors that could affect dividend investors. A $39.95 value, the eBook is a free download for paid Premium subscribers.

Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks contains a full economic forecast for 2012, including in-depth analysis on 65 of the biggest dividend stocks out there. It’s a great way to get prepared for your investing next year! So head over to the Premium homepage now to download your copy.

A Dividend Capture Strategy for Active Investors

We now offer complete U.S. dividend data for all Premium members, so anyone that focuses on “Dividend Capture” trading strategies should have plenty of good stuff to research each day. Just check our enhanced Ex-Dividend Calendar, which is the best in the business, to search for upcoming payouts.

Speaking of dividend capture, Premium members can also access a 9-page report we published on the essential elements to any successful dividend capture strategy. Be sure to check it out here on the Premium homepage.’s Very Own National TV Commercial Has Debuted

Our first-ever television commercial! has started running on CNBC and the feedback has been wonderful. If you haven’t seen the link yet, you can check out our commercial here.

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.

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