Market Wrap-Up for Jan.22 (TRV, FCX, JNJ, EAT, CAT, STT, more)

Market Wrap-Up for Jan.22 (TRV, FCX, JNJ, EAT, CAT, STT, more)

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Hopefully everyone enjoyed the long weekend due to the MLK holiday. Now it’s time to get back to work, as another busy week begins with several major stocks reporting earnings.

This morning’s early earnings highlights included gains for the likes of Travelers (TRV), Freeport McMoran (FCX), DuPont (DD), and TD Ameritrade (AMTD) following those companies’ results. On the flip side, investors were a little less excited with the results from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Brinker International (EAT). Shares of Caterpillar (CAT) were in the headlines with the company announcing a big charge to its upcoming results. Apparently a recent acquisition isn’t panning out too well for CAT, with accounting irregularities discovered within a Chinese subsidiary that had been part of the acquisition deal. As the market began to recoup earlier losses, positive Wall Street analyst calls had names like State Street Corp (STT), CBS Corp (CBS), and Viacom (VIAB) rallying by the close.

For all of our latest earnings report coverage and other important dividend stock news, be sure to check The Dividend Daily.

Often Times, You Determine Your Own Starting Position

This past weekend I learned that someone close to our family is expecting her first child. She’s been going steady with her fiancee for the last few years and they’ve apparently decided to start a family. They have been living together for a while, and as adults know, sometimes events that aren’t planned can happen.

Now on the surface the news can be viewed as a happy time with a child being born, but as you peel back the story, questions begin to arise. You see, her fiancee has been out of work for over a year now (for unknown reasons, according to our family contact). From a financial standpoint, our family friend is the only one supporting the couple — although she isn’t making much money at her office manager gig.

Looking at the situation from a pure financial standpoint and putting a sports spin on it, it could be said that this couple is starting the game in poor field position. Now of course things may change, but sometimes they don’t. Anyone that has had a relationship that has soured can tell you, hope that one person can improve can often be a fruitless wish. I certainly hope and pray things work out well and this couple can find their way as a family (getting married as well would putting some in their family at ease as well).

This post isn’t meant to come off as a gossip column. Instead, I want to make the point that starting out in a position of weakness can often put people way behind in their financial and professional lives. It’s already tough enough to find a path to succes without the added stress of children and all the extra costs that come along with them. Besides the financial worries, certain decisions can also often have other far-reaching effects over time. Thankfully this couple is still relatively young (late 20s), so time is an ally of theirs. Still, they need to make some changes sooner rather than later (i.e. the guy finding a job ASAP, for starters) if they’re going to have a successful life together.

Unfortunately, the track record for people turning things about isn’t very good. Once people put themselves in a hole (bad field position), they tend to lose any ambition and fight they once had. I’m hoping things can work out well for our family friend, but hope isn’t really something to rely on. In the financial/investing world especially, making decisions based on hope tends to leave far too many wishes unfulfilled.

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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