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@theMarket: The Trump Dump
By Bill Schmick,
10:09AM / Saturday, May 20, 2017
Investors were shocked this week when the U.S. stock markets fell almost 2 percent in one day.    Wall Street blamed it on the growing scandals engulfing the White House. However, there was little follow through despite predictions that this was the beginning of the long-awaited pullback.   To be honest, much of the controversy coming out of Washington — demand for Trump's impeachment, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, etc. — is simply partisan politics deliberately fueled by a biased media. All of the above, which had been building for days, finally reached the tipping point for investors. As weak-kneed day traders started to sell,

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@theMarket: Earnings Better Than Expected
By Bill Schmick,
02:21PM / Saturday, May 06, 2017
First-quarter earnings are coming in higher than expected while stock indexes hover just below historical highs. All that is necessary for further gains is a catalyst and that may be just around the corner.   This Sunday, French presidential elections will occur. As I wrote last week, it appears that the centrist candidate, Emmanuel Macron, has a widening lead over Marine Le Pen, the more radical right-leaning candidate. Why is that important to you?   It is all about the continued stability of the European Community and their currency, the Euro. Investors are concerned that if Le Pen should win, she might try to pull France out of the EU (think of the U.K. and

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@theMarket: 100 Days Does Not an Economy Make?
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Friday, April 28, 2017
Markets by their very nature are impatient. Every day they are open, something, somewhere has to be making traders money. Applying that behavior to either Donald Trump or the overall economy would be a mistake.   Nonetheless, it is what it is, Friday's first quarter GDP data, which measures the pace of growth in the U.S. economy, came at a dismal 0.7 percent. That was far less than expected.  Most economists were expecting a number closer to 1 percent or more.   The response from Wall Street was "where's the beef," meaning that there has been little to no evidence that our new president has done anything whatsoever for the economy. But

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@theMarket: Uncertainty Descends Upon the Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:23PM / Friday, April 07, 2017
Pick your poison — U.S.-Syrian strife, weak employment numbers, China-U.S. relations — those are just some of the issues investors had to contend with this week. Despite these potential roadblocks, the averages hung in there, losing little ground as the week closed.   There was even more bad news, if you include the latest minutes of the Federal Reserve Bank's FOMC meeting. There was much discussion among the members and a chorus of assent to begin the delicate task of reducing the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet later this year. Recall that the Fed bought mountains of U.S. Treasury bonds over the last eight years in an effort to keep interest rates low

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@theMarket: New Quarter, New Market
By Bill Schmick,
02:03PM / Saturday, April 01, 2017
As traders and institutions put to bed the first quarter, several concerns loom large in the weeks ahead. How things play out over that time period will have important implications for the averages, given that they are not far from their all-time, historical highs.   What will the Fed do in May? Will Washington pursue tax cuts and if so, will there be opposition?  What will first quarter earnings look like and how will markets react to all of the above? Let's look in my crystal ball, shall we?   Wall Street analysts expect corporate earnings to be higher by as much as 10-11 percent. That would be a big change from the recent past, where dismal guidance

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