Market Wrap-Up for Mar.26 (MON, DD, V, MA, PPG, more)

The inconsistency in today’s economic data was not deterring some fund managers and investors from squeezing in some late quarter buys. Durable goods orders were much better than expected, even as consumer confidence continues to slip. Meanwhile, existing home prices have risen nicely over the past year, but new home sales data out was disappointing. This sort of data disconnect has become the norm over the past few years, and is not hurting the averages in the early going.

Monsanto (MON) shares rallied following a seed agreement made with Dupont (DD), whose shares are lower following cautious analyst commentary. Credit card giants Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) are spiking higher early on. Also, positive Wall Street analyst commentary had names like National Oilwell Varco (NOV), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), and PPG Industries (PPG) trading in the green.

Money Looks for a Home

As we get set to wrap up the first quarter (and what a solid quarter it has been for U.S. equities), one can’t help but wonder if the recent trend of disregarding valuation is more about investors just wanting to have their capital committed somewhere other than cash. Also, will the U.S. markets actually benefit from global investors deciding to rotate out of holdings overseas to what is a perceived safer U.S. market?

In watching the market on a daily basis, we look for clues that can provide evidence of these considerations and whatever else can be a factor to the direction of share prices, short-term and long-term. The one thing that is clear is that anyone who has tried to pick the top in the indices has had one of the longest battles in their trading lives. Many short-sellers have probably being knocked out of the business entirely, while the averages continue to climb with each passing month.

Stocks are no different than any other investable assets: there will always be peaks and valleys. Real estate investors up until recently have seen how bad things can get when liquidity dries up. It doesn’t take all that long for buyers to disappear. Low interest rates, along with endless money printing, have been the stock markets’ ally in the run up we have had. At some point (we still don’t know when, despite many that have continued to wrongly predict rate spikes), we will need to navigate through a market and economy that will indeed begin to see rates move off of all-time lows, with a monetary supply that dries up. When that actually will happen is anyone’s guess.

Our Best Dividend Stocks List continues to remain static (little has changed as far as names we like), but we are closely watching the many names we cover for potential ratings moves. We’ll be sure to let our Premium subscribers know of any changes to consider for possible portfolio moves.

Our 2013 Dividend Stock Guide Has Arrived!

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Income, Income, Income

At, we maintain our focus on the best income-producing investments the markets have to offer during time of heightened volatility. We want to make sure we have only the most pullback-resistant names on our Best Dividend Stocks List. Also, if we see the market putting in what looks like a decent bottom, we will be prepared to scale up the list of stocks we like. Stay tuned and be sure to look for Premium member alerts along the way. Don’t count on the government or your employer to set you up for a remarkable retirement. Take control, do your own research, and achieve your goals yourself!

Go Beyond This Newsletter

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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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