This Market Has Sinewy Legs

Kyle is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

“Did the fire look at you?” – Ronald Bartel, Backdraft

I am constantly amazed at the overwhelming number of analysts and screaming TV heads that discuss “the market” as if it were a living, breathing being, capable of thoughts, feelings, even speech. As I listen to these people and read their words, “Mr. Market” takes an animated, human form, and depending on the market’s “mood,” it has a vast number of characteristics, the most annoying when there’s little volume and it just lays on the couch, scratching stubble, and doing little more than taking up space.

As the Dow Jones Industrial Average slowly grinds upward, unrelenting, paying no mind to GDP talk, Boeing (NYSE: BA), batteries ablaze, or the confusing downfall and sudden “uncoolness” of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), it’s time to put our speculative slacks on, roll up our sleeves, and scratch our heads as we enjoy this run up, all the way to 14,000 and beyond. Warm up the confetti cannons.

“Market wants higher…” one of my all-time favorite quotes as though the market is Shaun White, soaring 24-feet above the pipe deck in the Winter X games. Moving higher, as we listen to countless reasons why someone thinks a stock is experiencing a sell-off. Over the course of a few months it starts to sound like whiny excuses. It started as “profit-taking”, then it was for “tax reasons”, then it was “broken”, and ultimately the miniscule miss that Apple reported had everyone dumping the stock as if it had the flu.

Now we have a market that “behaves” independent of the performance of the once-golden super fruit, and he/she continues to move upward, in spite of the bitter Apple cider being served up. Even as an Apple investor, I grew weary of the incessant, often forced conversations about the stock. No wonder so many people hate it. Enough already; who cares, it’s your perception that’s broken, not the company. There isn’t a CEO roaming the planet that would gladly welcome Apple’s “problems.”

So given the overreaction to Apple’s recent call, Dow component, Boeing, should have a similar reactionary sell-off. Their Dreamliners going up in flames, the stock has only shed a microscopic 3% year-to-date, “Mr. Market” laughing in the faces of everyone, “wanting more”. While Boeing floats around $74 resistance levels, regardless of their juicy 2.6% dividend yield, I would rather wait for the rumors, news, scandals, and smoke to clear before considering a position.

When the market starts to appear greedy, I tend to get a little uneasy, and that’s where we need to consider taking profits here and there, possibly moving some of those “winnings” into a high-yielding, solid performer. Now Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), isn’t exactly distinguished as one of my stock “crushes” this year, it received numerous mentions from yours truly last year, and performed accordingly, gaining 20% in 2012. Even after a recent, decent earnings call, the stock remains flat so far, year-to-date, which is simply sublime. As the housing market continues along the road to recovery, with Wells owning over 30% of the mortgage business in this great country, clearly there’s nowhere to go but up, even if it is slow and steady. And as a loyal investor in the company, you not only share that distinction with arguably one of the greatest buy-and-hold investors, Warren Buffett, but your dedication is rewarded by way of a 2.8% dividend yield, paying a crisp dollar bill annually for each share owned.

I realize there isn’t anything remotely sexy and exciting about Wells Fargo, but as this “rally” continues, with more positive news coming from the housing sector, and if financials lead the way, there are definitely worse places to protect profits for potential market volatility. And if things get a little bumpy along the way, reinvested dividends at lower share prices make for a more favorable cost basis and higher percentage gains after moody market corrections.


kmet312 owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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