Genuine Parts, Pep Boys Tell Opposite Tales and U.S. Stocks Surge On Jobs Report

About a year ago, Pep Boys (PBY)  Manny, Moe & Jack cut its quarterly dividend from 6.75 cents a share to 3 cents a share. At the time, it effectively reduced the yield from 2.6% to 1.2%.  Pep Boys had a good excuse: The recession made the company do it. Sales had dropped for seven consecutive quarters. But in fiscal Q3 ended in October, Pep Boys’ sales edged up 2%  the first quarterly gain since early 2007. Earnings have been positive on a year-ago basis for the past three quarters.

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Pep Boys isn’t alone. Plenty of companies cut their dividends during the recession. But the stock offered no compelling reason for income investors in 2009, and the dividend yield is still 1.2% today. It is thinly traded and low-priced and the Sales + Profit Margin + ROE Rating is D.

Genuine Parts (GPC) is the other dividend tale. During the recession, it raised its annual dividend from $1.46 a share in ’07 to $1.56 the next year, then to $1.60 and now $1.64. [Read the full article]

The NYSE composite climbed 1.6%, closing at its best level since Jan. 20. The Nasdaq passed its January peak, gaining 1.5% to touch its highest level since September 2008. The S&P 500 and Dow rose 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively.

Before the open, the Labor Department said employers cut far fewer jobs in February than economists had expected. The unemployment rate held steady at 9.7%.

For the week, the Nasdaq and NYSE composite surged 3.9% and 3.6%, respectively. Both put in their best weekly performance of the year. The S&P 500 gained 3.1%, while the Dow added 2.3%.

Gildan Activewear (GIL) reversed early losses and climbed nearly 3% in more than three times average trade. It cleared a 25.25 buy point from a cup-with-handle base. The stock’s base had no distribution. And its Accumulation/Distribution Rating improved to A from D+ in early February. The T-shirt maker was featured in Wednesday’s Daily Stock Analysis. [Read the full article]

In the case of the Apple vertical, taking action meant exiting in with a $2 loss per spread as shares broke above the highs of a previously described right shoulder. If the trader had continued to hold, today that spread would show a paper loss of nearly $6.00 as the initial out-of-money credit spread of $2.90 is now fully in the money by nearly 4.00% and fetching $8.85.

Of course, taking the smaller loss doesn’t always turn out for the better in our accounts. However, as with trading stock, the discipline to take a smaller loss when our prognosis for a stock is ruled off or early should result in being more consistent in our ability to keep losses smaller than our wins. The preservation of capital also allows us to stay in the game and look at fresh opportunities while maintaining a more even keel. [Read the full article]

So what happens to your 401(k), IRA and other assets when you’re gone? If you don’t plan ahead, it could go to the tax man or shudder the spouse you divorced years ago.

If you have a tax-deferred account, then you’ve heard all this before from plan literature, advisers and the financial press. But if you failed to act, or haven’t reviewed your account in a while, now’s the time. It’s not that hard and you’ll feel better when you’re done.

You already know a will isn’t enough. Some of your most valuable assets may not pass to the loved ones named in your will.

Assets in accounts such as the ones named above — as well as life insurance policies and annuities — go only to beneficiaries you named in documents for those accounts. The same applies to payable-on-death and transfer-on-death bank and brokerage accounts.

At best, failure to name a beneficiary can delay that family member getting your legacy. [Read the full article]

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