Market Wrap-Up for Jan.31 (CL, QCOM, LVS, AVB, DOW, more)

Market Wrap-Up for Jan.31 (CL, QCOM, LVS, AVB, DOW, more)

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The market saw a bit higher-than-usual volatility today, as investors were happy to see some positive consumer spending data, but were mixed on some of the earnings data that was reported. As well, personal income rose to the highest level we have seen over the last eight years. If there is going to be any sign of a sustained economic expansion, personal income growth must see a sustained pick-up.

As I mentioned, earnings took center stage once again today on Wall Street, with several big names reporting their latest quarterly results. Today’s winners feeling Wall Street’s love on results included the likes of Qualcomm (QCOM), Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Whirlpool (WHR), and Blackstone Group (BX). On the flipside, investors were selling the news in names like Harman International (HAR), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Dow Chemical (DOW), Time Warner Cable (TWC), and Avalon Bay Communities (AVB).

Be sure to check out The Dividend Daily for all of our latest coverage of these important earnings events.

Get Complacent, Get Replaced

My oldest daughter has been rowing crew for a few years now, and recently let me in on a real shocker regarding her crew boat. You see, the boat’s coxswain from last year (the one who steers the boat and keeps the tempo) has been usurped by a hungry younger upstart.

Last year’s coxswain thought for sure her job would be safe for her senior year. In fact, she joined the swim team over the winter rather than doing winter crew (crew is traditionally a spring sport, but they do some training and races in the fall as well). Well, this girl though it was a given that she’d return to her regular spot this season — she’s the incumbent, after all. Yet here comes along a girl one year younger than her who spent her entire winter training hard, polishing her skills, and eventually leading the boat to a lot of success during winter races. As a result, this junior now has the coxswain seat, while the senior girl is left out in the cold.

The lesson here is pretty simple. There will always be someone out there who is as hungry as you (or even hungrier), just waiting to take your place. When you least expect it, you could be on the outside looking in. This complacency happens early in life when we are in school getting our great grades and then suddenly out of the blue someone is standing beside you getting as good or even better grades. You get to your professional career and suddenly a promotion that may have been thought of as a piece of cake turns into a real battle when someone steps up unexpectedly and makes a huge challenge no one saw coming. This is also how businesses get beat every day of the week, whether it’s a small mom-and-pop outfit or a major publicly-traded behemoth.

For investors, if you start slacking on the ongoing education to keep your tools sharp, you risk losing the edge you may have been used to. It’s really all relative. The best athletes who win multiple championships will tell you they don’t let up when it comes to practice. The efforts required to get to the top are immense, but to stay there means you have done something extraordinary! Invest in whatever helps you get there, but don’t get complacent when you do.

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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