Market Wrap-Up for Feb.19 (SPLS, WMT, VFC, UNH, MMM, more)

The shortened trading week got off to a decent start, as more deal rumors and better overseas market action had the indices trading higher.

With the rumored OfficeMax/Office Depot deal combination possibly happening, investors were driving up shares of Staples (SPLS), with the notion the office supply giant will eventually gain better market share. Unfortunately, these companies may have seen their better days, with companies like Costco (COST) and Wal-Mart (WMT) chewing away at the margins for their main business. Positive Wall Street analyst commentary also helped push names like V.F. Corp (VFC), GNC Holdings (GNC), and 3M (MMM) higher. On the flipside, we had nervousness in health care benefit plays such as Humana (HUM), Cigna (CI), Aetna (AET), and UnitedHealth Care (UNH) on the back of lower Medicare reimbursement payments being set for 2014. The shares did rebound off the lows of the session to mitigate some of the day’s selling.

An Investing Legend is Gone

Some of you who may may be long-time investors in the markets and were fans of “Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser” may remember Mr. Martin Zweig. His “Zweig Forecast” was a must-read for investors for over 26 years, during which Mr. Zweig had several claims to fame.

He was the author of “Winning on Wall Street”, a great read for stock investors. He also made one of the most timely calls ever made by a market guru, calling for a “vicious” decline reminiscent of the crash of 1929 on Mr. Rukeyser’s show just a couple of weeks before the huge drop happened back in 1987. Many also give Mr. Zweig credit for coining the phrase “Don’t Fight the Fed”, which basically meant to take caution whenever the Federal Reserve was raising rates to fight inflation and an overheated market. He believed from his work and research that those were times that would hurt many an investor who chose not to ease up on being aggressive. On the flipside, he felt a Federal Reserve that was cutting interest rates to kickstart monies to begin flowing again in a stagnant economy would be the best time to be investing as much as you could afford. Mr. Zweig passed away yesterday at the age of 71. The firm, Zweig-DiMenna Partners, which still bears his name, reported the sad news.

Death is certainly a reminder that we will all take our place in the history books at one point or another. My guess is Mr. Zweig remained quite active as an investor for as long as he was able to, and we should all intend to do the same. As I reminded many last week, Warren Buffett, now in his early 80′s, remains quite the Wall Street headliner with his dealings. His career has certainly evolved over the years, with his team of trusted experts slowly building over the years to help assist with the due diligence and key matters involving potential takeovers and large equity positions.

We have investors who have subscribed to Dividend.com from day one who remain with us year after year, and that list has only gotten longer and longer as many of our subscribers tend to remain on board once they join. Whether it is our consistency, data, recommendations, or this daily newsletter, the value our service delivers is something intended to last a lifetime. It is my belief that your money should never be sitting stagnant for long periods of time. You must see the opportunities when they come and not be hesitant to consistently put your money into action. The market will have pullbacks of all different degrees in our lifetime. It is during those times we should keep a shopping list of what we will be buying and of course, trimming the positions that no longer do the intended job.

So R.I.P. Martin Zweig. We appreciate the wisdom you shared with many of us over the years.

Our 2013 Dividend Stock Guide Has Arrived!

Our new members-only eBook has just been released! This 250-page guide to investing in 2013 contains a concise economic forecast for next year, including full previews for 60 big-name stocks! Be sure to head over to Dividend.com Premium and download it and get your game plan in place for all good things dividend-related in 2013!

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.

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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