The holidays tend to bring out the silly market action that retail investors gravitate to unwisely. Check out the action/trading volume in names like Alacatel-Lucent (ALU), Groupon (GRPN), and Nokia (NOK), as examples of sub-$5 speculation/gambling that tends to occur this time of the year. The action is fast and furious and will inevitably burn many an unsuspecting investor.
With the early positive reports that more shoppers than ever are partaking in the “Black Friday” spend-a-thon, the markets saw this news as a lift for today’s action. There wasn’t much Wall Street research on the street for today’s half-day session, but looking at some of today’s risers, we saw names like Microsoft (MSFT) (bouncing back from last week’s big executive resignation), Whole Foods Market (WFM) (momentum players looking to chase the usual growth plays), Apple (AAPL) (the stock is hoping to shake off the big drop it has suffered of late), and Coach (COH) (one potential beneficiary from this weekend’s spend-fest) all moving higher. We had the usual light-volume sort of session we tend to get for the half-day action following Thanksgiving holiday.
Saluting the Spenders
We will soon be inundated with the one-day/weekend holiday spending figures. Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is already saying their Thanksgiving Day numbers are ahead of last year’s pace (this despite the concerns of workers protesting having to work on a holiday). The media will be all over the positive data points as proof the economy has turned the corner once again. Hand most individuals of any economic status a piece of plastic to be able to go into a store or order online new tech goodies or the latest fashions, and it will be hard to resist from a human nature standpoint. After all, who do we know who walks around with their savings account book showing how much money they have put into their accounts to save? It’s not as glamorous as showing off the latest smartphone or designer handbag, or whatever else we have been groomed to accept as success status.
Wouldn’t it be great to hear figures about money flowing into investments rather than outflows? Not to be the grinch of the holidays, but maybe one day the masses will understand that saluting the idea of spending money above where many should be putting elsewhere (emergency savings, retirement, college funds, etc.) is the biggest misnomer ever cast on us. It takes many hours of our sacrifice and dedication to work hard for the money we receive, but all it takes is one swipe of the credit card to wipe away all the efforts with little to show for it over time.
If we can all put the bulk of our efforts finding income-producing assets and investment resources like Dividend.com and others that can assist us in growing the capital we work so hard for, we will not need to ever worry when we do want to spend our money. That’s the position we should all be striving for and saluting, not the throngs of shoppers who are just piling on debt and little else.
Looking Toward Next Week
Looking ahead to the next week for stocks, we will see earnings results from the likes of Tiffany & Co. (TIF), Analog Devices (ADI), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), and Guess Inc. (GES), just to name a few. Throw in the latest economic data and fiscal cliff updates, and investors will have plenty of news to absorb as usual.
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