Market Wrap-Up for Nov.15 (WMT, TGT, BP, PETM, LTD, more)

Market Wrap-Up for Nov.15 (WMT, TGT, BP, PETM, LTD, more)

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Despite the recent selling we have seen, the lack of real panic has some market watchers wondering if investors are really all that concerned with all the manic chatter surrounding the “fiscal cliff” headwinds in Washington.

As the markets continue to drag, third quarter earnings continue to flow. Seeing some investor selling on earnings results were shares of Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), Limited Brands (LTD), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM). Looking at Wal-Mart specifically, we’ve been wanting to see those shares take a breather after a ridiculous run this year. Too many investors buying brands forget that stocks need to grow into their valuations, especially when revenue growth is not exactly soaring higher.

On the flipside, investors cheered results from PetSmart (PETM) as the big pet retailing chain continues to have a solid year in 2012. Also higher on quarterly results are shares of Target (TGT) and Viacom (VIAB). Lastly, oil giant BP plc (BP) is getting close to turning the chapter on the company’s devastating oil spill disaster as settlement talks could be near a conclusion. BP’s shares finished sligher higher in today’s session.

As always, consult The Dividend Daily for our coverage on company earnings, analyst moves, and other news affecting dividend stocks.

Hanging on to the Past

On a recent “Kitchen Nightmares” episode, the restaurant in question was a pizzeria/restaurant based in Brooklyn, New York, where the owner has been working for decades (his parents started the business in the 50′s and he worked there from 10 years old and on).

Unfortunately over the years, competition has intensified in the neighborhood and the ways the business thrived in the past was no longer working. The menu and recipes never changed and as Gordon Ramsey put it, the business was stuck in decades past. By the end of the show, the owner realized he needed to change and let go of the past.

Letting go of the past is a tough thing for many of us to do. I have an uncle who still pays the phone company for a rotary phone attached to a wall in his parents’ old apartment, which sits on the first level of their two-family home. His parents have long since been deceased and his daughter now lives there, but the phone still hangs in the same place, as it has for several decades. Obviously the phone holds a great deal of sentimental value for my uncle. That may be an extreme example, but you know how difficult it is for many people to move on.

Investors are no different. They will latch on to what has worked in the past and buy stocks that may have seen their better days. Right now, we are experiencing a real panic (courtesy of the business media) in regards to the incoming tax changes and what that means for stocks. Dividend stocks have not been immune to the selling as we have been seeing. But here’s the thing. If you were chasing some of the high-yielding names with little growth (i.e. utilities) and stretched valuations because yield was in super-demand, you are stuck unless you sold quickly.

We have been warning readers about the recent breed of new-found supposed income investors who were buying utility plays at valuations that were unsustainable. Throw in some momentum buyers who buy whatever is making new highs and the whoosh down we have seen should not come as a surprise. At some point, we will be looking at some of these dividend names again, especially if the selling gets overdone. It takes as much discipline to not chase the flavor of the day than it does putting money to work on a regular basis. But the recent action should serve as a lesson to remember for all dividend investors out there.

2013 Dividend Guide Coming Soon!

We just wanted to let everyone know that we are working hard on a new 2013 Dividend Guide, loaded with our thoughts on what to expect in the coming year for dividend stocks. Again, this is only available to Dividend.com Premium members for download, so be sure you are signed up to receive the guide once it’s released! Last year’s Beat the Market with Dividend Stocks eBook was a smash success, and this year’s version will be even better. We anticipate releasing the new guide within the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading, and 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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