Despite mixed data across the board from earnings to economic data, investors did manage to close the indices with green on the screen, albeit on lighter volume than we have seen in recent sessions.
From an earnings standpoint, we saw a couple of names trending higher for much of the session, namely Rockwell Automation (ROK) and Toyota Motor (TM). On the flipside, investors were not as enthusiastic about results from Time Warner Cable (TWC), Entergy (ETR), Southern Co. (SO), and Sysco Corp (SYY). Wall Street analyst upgrades had a positive impact on the markets, specifically in stocks like Qualcomm (QCOM), State Street (STT), and CBS Corp (CBS). Finally, Apple (AAPL) shares rebounded some on reports the company’s iPad mini sold well following this weekend’s debut. Plenty of traders took notice of Apple shares closing below the company’s 200-day moving average Friday. That close marked the first time this important technical level has been hit in over a year.
It never fails: amid every major power outage you’ll hear a conversation involving the word “generator.” With Hurricane Sandy, I am sure the search traffic for the term had gone up immensely, and it will stay high until most of the power along the east coast is restored.
It’s natural to want to make sure our homes never go dark again, but how many prospective generator owners will really follow up? My guess is most will try and take their unused generators back to the store and get their money back. They’ll justify the return by pointing to the gas shortage situation and not wanting to wait hours in line with 5 gallon gas cans. Some may even price a generator that can power an entire home (some models can be tied to the natural gas lines, all but guaranteeing you won’t lose power). They’ll then be quoted a mid-six-figure estimate, go home with a brochure, and quickly tuck it away forever. The result in most cases is inaction. The memories of praying for daylight to come soon while huddled in a cold, dark residence fades away much more quickly than most people think.
Many times in our lives, we’re greeting with moments that inspire us to make a change. Unfortunately, most folks never follow up with the appropriate actions. Financially-speaking, tons of people complain and fuss about their career, spend the weekend plotting potential business ideas, then just return to their same old grind come Monday morning. Gamblers in casinos take the “walk of shame” as they exit yet another trip to their favorite venue, only to leave with the mythical jackpot higher than when they got there and still a pipe-dream away. Lottery players do the same as they tear up their losing tickets, vowing to never play again — until they go back to the store the next day and re-establish their steady donations to their state’s tax coffers. Plenty of investors will attempt to turn off useless market commentary they hear all over the business media. But like a bad accident, they just can’t help themselves. They turn the TV back on to listen to the latest guru, just in case they get their next prediction right.
That’s human nature. We can’t help ourselves sometimes. For those that do take appropriate action and avoid making the same mistakes over and over again, opportunities abound. Why? Because many will be looking or listening to the wrong sources for guidance. Meanwhile those who learn their lessons will be well on their way to success. You have probably heard this phrase many times: “Life is full of choices.” Your place in history will be defined by whether or not you learn from your mistakes. Nothing but frustration awaits those who forget about the factors holding them back, be it personally, professionally, and last but not least, financially.
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.