Market Wrap-Up for Feb.8 (HAS, INTU, RSG, DFS, MCO, more)

Market Wrap-Up for Feb.8 (HAS, INTU, RSG, DFS, MCO, more)

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As everyone here in the Northeast braces for winter storm Nemo, the markets were doing their best to close the week on a positive note. With a large majority of stocks in the S&P trading above their 50-day moving averages, there are plenty of calls for a market pullback in the short-term. Be sure to check out my notes on the constant media fascination with the very short-term below.

Looking at today’s movers, earnings results helped lift up shares of Microchip Technology (MCHP), Activision Blizzard (ATVI), and Hasbro (HAS), which also bumped up their dividend payouts. On the flip side, we had selling from earnings results as well, with names like Republic Services (RSG) and Moody’s (MCO) finishing in the red.

Elsewhere, shares of Intuit (INTU) pulled back a bit as the company pulled in their guidance in anticipation of the late tax season. Finally, Wall Street analyst upgrades are pushing shares of Discover Financial Services (DFS) and Equity Residential (EQR) into positive territory.

Investing Through a Trader’s Market

“Buy low, sell high” is the traditional advice for stock market investors. Unfortunately, this mantra tends to lock people into a short-term trading mindset, when instead they should be focused only on the long term.

Like any habitual gambler, traders tend to bring attention to their wins and conveniently forget to mention their losses. All the while, the markets have rewarded the vast number of investors that look to buy quality stocks on a steady basis. Look at the recent evidence we have seen with the S&P returns from March 2009 through the beginning of this year. We’re talking 135% gains from the March 2009 lows! This move equals the amount the S&P surged during the tech boom of the late 90′s. Those who were scared out of the markets in early 2009 as the business media was all over the “end of times” daily events are left to beat themselves up for getting away from their original game plan of sticking to consistent income producers (many of which were hit harder than they should have been, creating tremendous buying opportunities).

There has been plenty of recent buzz from traders that the markets are showing some signs of topping following the big recent run. The business media tends to adjust its focus when enough guests are railing against a further rally, so a pullback can sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As long term investors who are looking to build wealth over time, feel free to listen to whatever sound bytes you’d like, but if you get sucked in with the emotion of how much the markets will fall and then rally, you may be too tempted to get into the “timing game.”

Once you start trying to time the markets, I guarantee you will throw out your original game plan. You can take my word on it, or you can just see the eye-opening stat above. By the way, during much of the run up, the call to get in and out of the markets was a constant. Once you understand this market phenomenon, you will embrace the market pullbacks as opportunities to own solid companies at better prices over time. Sometimes, the prices will be a lot better than you may be used to. These are usually moments when investors are fleeing for the exits, when they instead should just keep their heads down and go about their business looking to put capital to work.

Looking Toward Next Week

Looking ahead to the next week for stocks, we will get a slew of earnings from across many sectors, with companies like Coca-Cola (KO), Duke Energy (DUK), Metlife (MET), Cisco Systems (CSCO), and Comcast (CMCSA) reporting results.

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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