Market Wrap-Up for Dec.31 (AAPL, BMY, PFE, CLF, FCX, more)

Market Wrap-Up for Dec.31 (AAPL, BMY, PFE, CLF, FCX, more)

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As the media prepares to pay homage to the upcoming efforts made by policymakers to get a fiscal cliff resolution done (a deal so good it needed to be done at the last possible second, Update – may not eveb be voted on at all now it appears!), the after-affect of higher taxes and other budget concessions will soon be assessed by those crunching “real” numbers. It’s certainly nothing to applaud about, as I mentioned on Friday.

Several stocks were moving this morning as all eyes remain on Washington. Apple (AAPL) shares were up strongly as the stock continues to make most experts’ names to own list in 2013 (despite being among the very worst performers in the fourth quarter). Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) shares finished higher following a late-day anitclotting drug approval on Friday. The drug will be marketed along with Pfizer’s sales force (Pfizer shares ended slightly higher on the session). Commodity names like Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) and Freeport McMoran (FCX) were strong as well, with investors expecting a bounceback in the China markets to be a catalyst for the group.

Something Bigger than the Fiscal Cliff Lurks Around the Corner

It’s certainly no surprise to see the markets liking the pending cliff deal, as uncertainty is never good for the market averages. However the ramifications going forward may have some investors re-thinking the early celebrations. Just wait till the Affordable Health Care plan chatter begins to kick up later this year. This will be another topic policymakers will have to deal with, especially if threats from large and small business leaders about getting leaner employment-wise ahead of the health care plan mandates become a reality.

Market Players Leveraged to Extremes as Expected Bailouts and Stimulus Continues to be the Rule

Market watchers love to talk about fear on Wall Street, but in actuality, one could argue fear may not be such a big issue. What am I getting at, you ask? The NYSE recently released the latest Margin Debt data, and it is at $327 billion, the highest level since February 2008. Do you think market players are fearful with all that leverage being taken? If anything, the complacency factor has me worried that any market pullback that isn’t quickly addressed by the Federal Reserve could lead to quite an event for investors not positioned properly.

We have plenty to think about as the beginning of 2013 is just a day away. I’d like to thank all our readers for a fantastic year at Dividend.com, as well as our team that helps make it all possible. We’ll be back on Wednesday as the markets get set to start off the 2013 year.

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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