Market Wrap-Up for Aug. 8 (MDLZ, THI, BEAM, LINE, more)

Market Wrap-Up for Aug. 8 (MDLZ, THI, BEAM, LINE, more)

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Despite another big sell-off in Japan, most of the other global markets saw moderate gains in overnight trading. As such, domestic futures pointed toward a positive start to the day. However, the major indices’ initial gains were quickly erased within the first half-hour of the day’s trading. Nonetheless, investors’ bearishness subsided as we made our way through the day, and stocks finished in positive territory.

Shares of Mondelez International (MDLZ), Tim Hortons (THI), Broadridge Financial (BR), Apollo Investment Group (AINV), Beam Inc (BEAM), Scripps Networks (SNI), and Cedar Fair (FUN) all rose today after releasing pleasing earnings reports. On the other hand, Linn Energy (LINE), CenturyLink (CTL), Teekay Shipping (TK), American States Water Company (AWR), Advance Auto Parts (AAP), Windstream Corp (WIN), and Medical Properties Trust (MPW) shares were dragged lower by disappointing earnings.

McDonald’s (MCD) shares also dipped into negative territory today after releasing its global sales update for July.

Furthermore, Wall Street analyst upgrades of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Lowe’s (LOW) helped those stocks rally today. However, a downgrade of Target (TGT) caused the stock to retreat a bit in the day’s trading.

Be sure to check the Dividend Daily for all the latest earnings reports, analyst moves, and much more.

Are Your Retirement Plans Back on Track?

On the car ride in to work this morning, I heard a troubling report on the radio about how so few individuals and households are prepared for retirement. In the aftermath of the financial crisis and Great Recession, most individuals saw their savings wiped out as stocks crashed. Moreover, many of these same households had to dip into whatever retirement savings that they might have had in order to finance everyday expenses after they lost their jobs and experienced other hardships. As a result, most retirement plans took quite a hit and have yet to recover.

Most retirement plans have yet to recover because these individuals, scared off from another crash in the stock market, failed to start saving and investing again in order to rebuild their retirement nest eggs. So while stocks have more-or-less regained their Great Recession losses, many potential retail investors have remained on the sidelines, unable to capitalize on the rally.

The troubles facing many people should be a learning lesson for others. For one, it just goes to show how important it is to prepare for certain financial obstacles that might come our way. Building a “rainy day” fund is the best way to set aside money for an unfortunate financial event. By doing so, it will prevent you from hurting your long-term retirement goals as you take money out of an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement plans. Moreover, you cannot be scared to take advantage of the stock market and dividend stocks as a way to build up your wealth. Though there might be bear markets and crashes along the way, investing in dividend paying stocks still remains the best way to ensure a solid retirement nest egg.

Yes, this is all easier said than done, but the effort should still be made. Most likely we will all face some financial hardships some time in our lives. The trick is to prepared for that rainy day before hand, rather than react on the fly as the financial hardships stare us in the face.

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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