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@theMarket: Investors Underwhelmed by Tax Reform
By Bill Schmick,
10:07AM / Saturday, November 04, 2017
With great fanfare, House Republicans rolled out a tax reform proposal that they promised would get this country going again and invigorate business, while creating jobs and huge savings for the middle class. What are they smoking?   Clearly, the entire reform package was simply a smoke screen to reduce taxes for American corporations with the majority of benefits directed at the country's largest companies. For the individual, depending on what you make and where you live, taxes will remain the same or go up.    Several legislators used a postcard as a prop claiming your individual tax return will be so simple it will fit on a postcard. The reason is

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@theMarket: Markets Are Waiting for Tax Reform
By Bill Schmick,
10:48AM / Saturday, October 28, 2017
Stocks gyrated up and down this week as events in Washington competed with quarterly earnings results for investor's attention. Next week, we should find out more about both.   True to form, third-quarter earnings results have been in-line or better than expected. Over 70 percent of companies have "beat" earnings estimates, which is no surprise. Sales and earnings guidance have also been upbeat. For those unfortunate corporations who "missed" their targets on either the top or bottom line, retribution was swift and dramatic.   Some companies saw their stock price plummet 20 percent or more. And we are not just talking about penny stocks.

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@the Market: Markets Need a Time Out
By Bill Schmick,
10:59AM / Saturday, October 07, 2017
The S&P 500 Index has gone up eight straight days. The other averages have done the same thing. That hasn't happened since 2013. It's time for a break.   It appears that stocks are in "melt-up" mode. That's a term we financial geeks use to describe an unrelenting rise in equity prices. Consider it an investor stampede where the fear of missing out on even higher prices creates a buying frenzy.   There are some fundamental reasons for the market's rise. The economy appears to be chugging along. Interest rates remain low while inflation continues to bump along the bottom. This Friday's payroll numbers were a disappointment to

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@theMarket: NK Missile Dud on Wall Street
By Bill Schmick,
04:50PM / Friday, September 15, 2017
The North Korean boy who cried wolf is alive and well, but seems to have less and less impact on financial markets. Kim Jong Un's minions launched another missile over Japan on Thursday night and the markets simply yawned.   Geopolitics are always a risk for the financial markets. For one thing, they are by definition unpredictable. Rarely do the antagonists worry about the economic and financial ramifications of their moves. As such, markets react quickly, but usually the impact only lasts for a short period of time.   It seems that even our tweet-happy president is learning that, in this case, Kim Jong Un, the boy in the wolf's mask, has a bark that is

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@theMarket: Markets Brace for the Weekend
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Friday, September 08, 2017
Usually, the weekend is a time when traders try to relax, reduce stress, and prepare for the coming week's markets. This weekend will be an exception to that rule. Just about everyone is focused on the latest news of Hurricane Irma's landfall in southern Florida tomorrow and into Sunday.    Over in Southeast Asia, analysts are also expecting North Korea to fire off yet another missile. Exactly where and when is up in the air.   As if that were not enough, an earthquake and Hurricane Jose both hit Mexico simultaneously last night causing quite a lot of damage. Investors have no idea what economic impact these natural disasters will have on the North

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