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@themarket: Global Interest Rates Rise, Global Stocks Fall
By Bill Schmick,
11:05AM / Saturday, July 08, 2017
It is something we really haven't seen in quite some time. Back in the day, before the financial crisis, interest rates and stocks most often moved in opposite directions. This week investors got a taste of what the future might hold.   U.S Treasury yields on the 10-year note (the benchmark average) ticked up to 2.39 percent at one point. Across the pond, the German Bund (their benchmark) rose .5 percent. Those were big moves in the debt world. Why are interest rates on the rise all of a sudden after years of declines?   Some would say it just had to happen. Global central bank policy has just been too loose for too long. I don't necessarily agree with

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The Independent Investor: The Market's Half-Time Report
By Bill Schmick,
12:56PM / Friday, July 07, 2017
Financial markets worldwide ended the first six months of the year much better off than they started. Here in the U.S., the Dow and the S&P 500 Indexes both gained 8 percent, while NASDAQ delivered 15 percent.   The Russell 2000, the small cap index, underperformed (up 4 percent) and the Transports gained 5 percent. All-in-all, it paid to be in large-cap, especially the large cap growth sector for the first half. At the same time, the Volatility Index continued to make new lows, despite the fact that at least half the investing population was/is worried and fearful of our new president's agenda.   All of the top 20 economies around the world are growing

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The Independent Investor: Small Business Linchpin of America's Success
By Bill Schmick,
04:37PM / Thursday, June 29, 2017
The facts are that small businesses still create the lion's share of jobs and at least half the economic growth in this country. It would be wonderful if our lawmakers would finally realize that.   Look around you: with few exceptions, we are surrounded by entrepreneurs who have created over 60 percent of the jobs in our communities since the financial Crisis of 2009. What we don't see is the enormous burden that these heroes are living under on a daily basis.   A startup is largely a game of survival. Those who stay in business the longest are most likely to succeed.  About two thirds of businesses only survive two years. Of them, another 50

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The Independent Investor: A Tale of Two Charities
By Bill Schmick,
05:47PM / Thursday, June 22, 2017
As Senate Republicans unveil their version of a new health care law replacing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, Democrats are already crying foul. But while politicians are busy back-stabbing each other, there are real people out there who are sick and getting sicker.   These are Americans who can't afford, or can no longer find, insurance. Their stories are evidently not "newsworthy." Instead, the media prefers to accentuate the divisions among our lawmakers, while President Trump describes the House "Choice Act" as "mean." In the meantime, who is taking care of all those sick and elderly victims in this supposedly divisive

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@theMarket: Markets in Pullback Mode
By Bill Schmick,
05:31PM / Friday, June 16, 2017
Technology stocks continued to consolidate while the Dow made new highs and the S&P 500 Index hovered just below historical highs. Throw in the fact that the markets are notoriously slow and biased to the downside during the summer months, and you have a recipe for further consolidation.   That does not necessarily mean that we will see some sharp and painful correction in stocks. My regular readers understand that the averages could simply move sideways for a month or two before resuming their upward climb. However, within those averages, individual stocks and sectors could experience much deeper declines.   Take the present decline in the technology-laden

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