International markets largely shrugged off the U.S. markets’ big pullback yesterday, with Europe posting small gains and Asia posting relatively small losses. Accordingly, our markets traded mixed today before settling with small losses by the closing bell.
Without any major earnings news to speak of, analyst moves took center stage in today’s session. Today’s biggest ratings-related news was no doubt Jefferies’ downgrade of packaged foods giant General Mills (GIS) to “Underperform.” The firm’s concerns about the stock’s valuation sent GIS shares down more than 2% on the day. Wal-Mart (WMT) also received some cautious notes from two analysts today, but the stock wound up posting only small losses.
Treasury yields gained seven basis points to close around 2.84%. As we’ve said many times recently, dividend investors should pay close attention to these levels and the potential erosive effect they could have on shares of defensive dividend stocks. Finally, gold prices closed up another $12 today. The yellow metal posted a 4.82% gain this week as the equities and bond markets sold off.Dow Closes Second Straight Losing Week
The Dow Jones Industrial Average marked its second straight weekly loss at today’s close. What this means for investors is still unclear, however.
With averages hitting all-time highs seemingly on a weekly basis recently, a healthy pullback is likely needed to help consolidate those gains. Markets never go straight up, and during the historic run we’ve seen over the past four and a half years, we all know there have been plenty of daily or even weekly pullbacks along the way. So, unless the selling continues through next week and beyond, we’ll have to assume that we’re still in a long-term bull market. Remember, each and every dip since the March 2009 lows has been a buying opportunity.
We’ll be closely monitoring the market averages, macroeconomic indicators, economic data points, and individual company news over the next several weeks, and we’ll keep subscribers abreast of our findings. Our team here is the best in the business, so rest assured we’ll do our best to keep dividend-minded investors on the right track to building wealth.Looking Toward Next Week
Next week, we’ll see earnings reports from Bob Evans Farms (BOBE), Analog Devices (ADI), Best Buy (BBY), Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), Home Depot (HD), Medtronic (MDT), Intuit (INTU), The TJX Companies (TJX), Eaton Vance (EV), Hewlett Packard (HPQ), and many more. These reports should continue to provide some insight into how the heavy-hitters of American business are faring in what is a challenging economic environment.
Thanks for reading everyone, and have a great weekend!
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